Apple Watch Series 3 Production Opens Door For New Apple Partner

Posted: Apr 11 2017, 5:41am CDT | by , in Rumors | Apple

Apple Watch Production to Launch in Second Half of 2017 from New Supplier Tips Report

Compal Electronics to take over some Apple Watch manufacturing

A new rumor is making the rounds that has its source in the Apple supply chain reports DigiTimes. This rumor claims that Compal Electronics has entered the supply chain for the Apple Watch. Compal is said to begin shipping Apple Watch models in the second half of 2017. That would align with previous rumors that the Apple Watch Series 3 might be introduced in September along with the new iPhone models.

The current generation of Apple Watch Series 2 models are built exclusively by Quanta Computer. According to this report Quanta will continue to be the manufacturer of the Apple Watch Series 3, but it seems that with the new model launch the Series 2 will still be offered. Compal Electronics will reportedly be given some of the Apple Watch Series 2 manufacturing duties with Compal focusing on some production of Series 2 products along with the new Series 3 Apple Watch.

Predictions have Apple shipping 11.9 million Apple Watches in 2016 accounting for 49% of overall smartwatch shipments in the segment. To get ready for its new Apple watch manufacturing duties, the company has moved equipment used for building smart devices to plants that it has in Chongqing, China. The new production of wearables will help Compal to fill space left in its manufacturing capabilities caused by sagging notebook shipments.

The facilities that Compal has in China will become the company's base for products like tablets, smartphones, and wearables. Compal is mostly known as a notebook manufacturer and is the second largest notebook ODM in the world and has been expanding into other electronics segments as notebook shipments begin to fall.

Previous rumors about the Apple Watch Series 3 have given some idea of what we can expect to see in the new wearable. Big rumors include smart fabric bands, a front camera, and an integrated cellular chip. The smart fabric bands are said to be able to show data right on the band all the time, such as time, date, notifications, and more.

The inclusion of a cellular chip inside the new Apple Watch will mean that the wearable can make and receive calls and have its own internet connectivity without the user needing to have a paired smartphone with them. The front camera will allow users to do things like take selfies and to have FaceTime video chats. The Apple Watch Series 3 is also tipped to get support for the Air Pods wireless earbuds, which will presumably be needed to make and receive those FaceTime calls.

Speaking of the new AirPods compatibility expected to be seen in the Apple Watch Series 3, a new patent has turned up showing something that Apple might be working on reports MacRumors. The patent outlines a new waterproof AirPods case that could double as an iPhone or Apple Watch Charger. The patent was filed for by Apple in 2016 and has just now been published.

The AirPods case would be usable as a charger for the other Apple gadgets when it is placed on a flat surface. The Apple Watch could then be placed on the top of the AirPods case and charge the watch thanks to wireless power transmission tech. The ability to charge wirelessly has been part of the Apple Watch since the start.

Rumors of the upcoming iPhone models continue to suggest that all versions of the iPhone will get wireless charging. If this AirPods case comes to be, all an iPhone with wireless charging capability would need to charge would be to be placed on the top of the case.

The patent shows that the case would have multiple ways to tell if an external gadget was in place and ready to charge including an optical sensor, mass sensor, or a mechanical interlock or button. The patent app lists out a bunch of devices that might be able to charge wirelessly using the AirPods case ranging from portable DVD players, to digital cameras, projectors, tablets, MacBooks and others.

The interesting part of that to me is that Apple doesn't make cameras or projectors. This would seem to indicate that perhaps Apple will be supporting a wireless charging standard that isn't proprietary, such as Qi, that would allow non-Apple devices to use the AirPods case. The patent also suggests that the AirPods case might have a water-resistant design rated to keep water out if splashed or dropped in a puddle. One big mystery is exactly how much power the AirPods case would hold.

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<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.
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