Multiple reports have suggested that an Apple Watch Series 3 is currently in the works, and that it could even be released as early as this fall; however one of the tech industry’s most historically accurate analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo, has now chimed in with a fresh research note in which he alleges that Cupertino will in fact be releasing the third-generation wearable alongside the iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 later on this fall.
Interestingly, Kuo went on to suggest that the refreshed Apple Watch Series 3’s most significant selling point will be its inclusion of 4G LTE functionality, and that it will not feature any significant new features, design, or form-factor changes as previous reports have suggested.
Rumors about an Apple Watch Series 3 have been circulating the web for a while now, but have been heating up this summer especially as its launch draws nearer. Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a report indicating that Apple will release its third-generation Watch later this year featuring LTE functionality, making it the company’s first wearable to function independently, or untethered from an iPhone.
Meanwhile, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber indicated shortly thereafter that he’d heard from “a little birdie” that the Apple Watch Series 3 would feature “an all-new form factor” — however he warned that his sources “might be inaccurate.” And so it seems, they were.
While previous reports pegged the Apple Watch Series 3 to feature a substantial redesign, including the possibility of introducing an all-new ‘modular’ form factor, Kuo maintains that the third-generation wearable will instead retain the same physical design and dimensions of its predecessors — including the standard 38 and 42 mm case sizes. He also suggested the Apple Watch Series 3 will be offered in LTE and non-LTE variants, similar to Apple’s iPad models, and that domestic wireless carriers in the U.S. will likely offer add-on cellular service for the device.
Interestingly, while Kuo admitted he believes that Apple will need to introduce new features and capabilities (such as a design change, FDA-approved medical diagnostic and health applications, and even “5G commercialization”) in order for the wearable to truly thrive in an increasingly competitive market, he nevertheless made some rather lofty sales projections for the device. Specifically, Kuo believes that Apple will ship between 8 and 9 million Apple Watch Series 3 devices during the second-half of 2017, with overall Apple Watch shipments, including the Series 1 and 2, raising that number to between 17.5 and 18 million units — a nearly 70% increase, year-over-year.
Realistically speaking, though, if LTE is truly all Apple will be bringing to the Apple Watch Series 3, we’d find those projections to be somewhat of a pipe dream. Let’s just hope, for Apple’s sake, that perhaps we’ll get treated to some micro-LED display tech or advanced health and diagnostic tools.