More than six months since the launch of the Apple Watch retailers are looking to lure customers with some attractive discounts on the device. But it may be more beneficial to hold off on purchasing the smartwatch, since there’s already talk about a new model for next year -- the “Apple Watch 2.”
There haven’t been any sightings of it in public or leaked photos. And officially, Apple hasn’t said a word about when a new model would debut. But the rumor mill is pointing to a release just a few months away. We’ve rounded up all the chatter about the Apple Watch 2, so you can get an idea of what’s likely in store once it debuts.
Less Dependence On iPhone
One big drawback to the Apple Watch is its reliance on the iPhone. It’s able to do many things on its own, such as facilitate Apple Pay mobile payments, run native third-party apps, measure heartrates and track daily fitness goals. But it still relies on the iPhone to receive most messages and notifications.
Apple has already taken a step to address this with the WatchOS 2.0’s Tetherless Wi-Fi feature, which allows the Watch to connect to known Wi-Fi hotspots without needing to connect to a paired iPhone first. Apple may use a beefed up Wi-Fi chipset in Watch 2, which can transfer data faster and triangulate its location using Wi-Fi access points, according to 9to5Mac.
One of the biggest features of the Apple Watch 2 could come in the form of a FaceTime camera, which would allow wearers to take FaceTime video calls from their wrist, according to the same report from 9to5Mac. The feature may be integrated into the top bezel of Apple’s next smartwatch. While there isn’t any built-in camera in the first generation of the Watch, it does have the ability to take FaceTime voice-only calls and function as a remote viewfinder and shutter control for the iPhone’s iSight camera.
Additional Models and Materials
There’s a huge price gap between the stainless steel Apple Watch that tops out at $1,000 and the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition. But Apple may be looking to develop models to fill the gap. To accomplish that it may introduce new materials with the Apple Watch 2, such as platinum, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Another alternative way for Apple to fill the gap is the introduction of special designer models, complete with couture bands. Apple started down this track in September through its partnership with Paris fashion house, Hermès, with models priced between $1100 and $1500.
One area of improvement for the Apple Watch could be its OLED display. On the outside it isn’t expected to change much. But Apple is reportedly working with LG and Samsung Electronics to build a thinner OLED display module, which will not only be lighter, but also leave more room for additional components, according to South Korean news website Naver.
Similar Battery Life
The Apple Watch can easily make it through a day no problem with about 18 hours battery life, according to tests performed by Apple in March. And in a pinch it has a power reserve mode which disables all smart functions to squeeze out some extra time. But that still leaves watch wearers with yet another device to charge on a daily basis. While a move to a thinner display on the Apple Watch could leave more room for a larger battery, the addition of new features is expected to keep the battery life of the smartwatch about the same.
Apple hasn’t officially said any word about the follow-up to its first smartwatch. But chatter from its supply chain points to the possibility of an Apple Watch 2 launch in the second quarter of 2016 -- sometime between April and June.