Apple’s second-generation Apple Watch, which is expected to be released later this year, will not include cellular connectivity and will rely on a wireless connection to an iPhone, like the original model, according to a new report.
The new version will feature a GPS chip that will enable more accurate tracking of travel distances, Bloomberg reported today, citing anonymous sources.
Apple had been scrambling to make the Watch independent of the iPhone, Bloomberg said. That makes sense given that people have wanted the Watch to be less dependent on an additional device, so there would be less of a need to carry a second device for sporting activity like running or bicycling, which the watch can track. But Apple has found that adding cellular connectivity shortens battery life, creating other problems, according to Bloomberg.
The Apple Watch is the newest product in Apple’s lineup, alongside the iOS, OS X (soon, macOS), and tvOS devices. Apple introduced it in September 2014, and it went on sale in April 2015. Apple shipped 1.6 million watches in the second quarter of this year, down from 3.6 million in the first quarter of sales, according to IDC.
The next version of watchOS for the Apple Watch, watchOS 3, will launch this fall, presumably timed to the refreshed Apple Watch.