2017 Apple Watch Tipped For Front Camera And Smart Fabric Band

Posted: Mar 31 2017, 5:32am CDT | by , in Rumors | Apple

2017 Apple Watch Series 3 Rumors Suggest Cellular Chip Inside

FaceTime may finally land for the Apple Watch

The current Apple Watch is the Series 2 and wearable fans are wondering what 2017 might hold in store for the Apple smartwatch. Presumably the new generation of wearable from Cupertino will be called the Apple Watch Series 3 and there are a few rumors floating around that hint at what might come on the new device. Rumors suggest that the next Apple Watch will keep the same basic design as the current models. This is good news since that will likely mean that the same accessories will work.

One rumor suggests that the Apple Watch Series 3 might get a glass-film touchscreen. Current Apple Watch Series 2 models use a touch-on-lens screen. The problem with the current screen is that the company building them for Apple, TPK Holdings, won't make them for future models due to low yield rates. Replacing TPK will be either General Interface Solution or Biel Crystal Manufactory for the glass-film solution reports AppAdvice. It's unclear if there will be any end-user benefits to changing the screen tech at this time.

The only real improvements for Apple Watch fans for Series 3 are likely to be longer runtime from better power management and possibly increased battery size. Overall performance improvements are expected as well. Series 3 wearables are expected to be made by Quanta, the same company that has made the past two generations of the Apple Wearable.

Another place where power savings for the next Apple Watch could come from is a new Micro LED display tech. This screen tech was acquired by Apple back in 2014 with the purchase of LuxVue Technology. This screen tech has better brightness levels and better color gamut. It's also more power efficient because no backlight is needed with the tech. Another cool rumor suggests that new watch bands could be available for the next generation that have icons that glow for specific activities taking place.

One interesting Series 3 rumor suggests that Apple might add cellular connection to the next Apple Watch. That would mean the ability to connect and perform functions without needing to have your iPhone with you. This is great for active people who like to wear their watch, but not take a smartphone with them during workouts.

Barron's reports that Susquehanna Financial Group analyst for semiconductors Christopher Rolland has offered up a new investor note that talks about what he thinks will happen with the Apple Watch. Rolland says that he has heard that the next Apple Watch will have its own cellular chip inside. This rumor has made rounds before, but this rumor is notable because Rolland follows major chipmakers Broadcom and Qualcomm, both firms sell components to Apple.

The source of Roland's rumor comes from unnamed sources in the supply chain. Rolland wrote in his note to investors, "We understand a model of the next Apple watch will include a SIM card, and therefore is likely to support LTE. We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made. Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life. Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods (now on back order till May) to make and receive phone calls (perhaps a small win for Maxim with amps in each ear bud). Positive QCOM, MXIM."

Operability with AirPods is important, there will be no headphone jack and if you need Air Pods to make phone calls with the Apple Watch, that means it may have no microphone of its own.

Another Apple Watch Series 3 rumor that has surfaced claims that the wearable might get a reversible USB-C port for charging. It won't be strictly a USB-C port though, 9to5Mac claims that the Apple Watch Series 3 will have a hybrid Lightning/USB-c port on board. Word also suggests that the LTE chip inside the watch will be a low-power CAT-M1 unit supporting LTE and VOIP while helping to mitigate battery concerns.

The Apple Watch Series 3 for 2017 might get something else that fans of the wearable have been hoping for. Sources are claiming that the Apple Watch will get a front camera. That front camera will allow users to take selfies with the watch, but the more important feature is that the camera will allow for video calling. We would assume that means FaceTime support would come to the Apple Watch Series 3. That is something that would transform the capabilities of the wearable and let you feel like Dick Tracy.

Some other cool rumors about smart bands for the watch have also turned up reportd by MarketExclusive. These rumors suggest that the new Apple Watch could have a watch band that uses smart fabric. Some details of the plans Apple has for this turned up in a patent related to a smart fabric wristband. The patent outlines a watchband that could display the time, weather updates, and notifications. Exactly why you would want the time on a watch band when that is a function on the watch itself is unclear. Perhaps this feature would be intended to help save battery life by not having to wake the watch up to see the time.

Rumors suggest that the Apple Watch Series 3 would be released alongside the iPhone 8 in September. Pricing is rumroed at around $350 for the standard versions of the watch. You can bet there will be high-end versions that would cost more, just as there are with the Apple Watch Series 2 available now.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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