Apple may finally be ready to release a version of Apple Watch that cuts the gadget’s dependence on the company’s iPhone.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is readying an Apple Watch that works on cellular networks. It would represent a pivotal step in the development of the wearable.
Since its launch two years ago, even some fans have lamented the fact that it must be tethered to the iPhone for most of its functionality. Removing that barrier could dramatically expand interest in the smartwatch.
Bloomberg cited “people familiar with the matter.”
The story said the new Apple Watch would have LTE chips provided by Intel. Apple is also in talks with various carriers in the U.S. and Europe regarding the cellular edition.
While cellular smartwatches already exist, they have tended to be quite bulky to accommodate the chipsets and batteries needed to make them useful. It seems Apple may have found a way to bridge this traditional tradeoff between appearance and functionality.
The Apple Watch continues to be the leader by marketshare around the world. In its recent earnings call, the company said sales of the watch increased by 50 percent in the most recent quarter.
No price for the device was reported, and the costs for a plan with carriers is likely still be determined.