THE APPLE WATCH 3 will almost definitely launch alongside the iPhone 8 in September if a report from The Economic Daily Times is to be believed.
The Chinese news outlet reports Taiwanese-based Quanta Computing, the manufacturer of MacBooks and the Apple Watch, has ramped up production of the third-generation smartwatch in preparation for launch later this year, with the wearable entering its "final testing phase"
This is a big hint that the Apple Watch 3 will see an official unveiling next month, likely alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 7S and 7S Plus and the first 4K-capable Apple TV.
The report doesn't mention much else about the upcoming smartwatch, but KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note earlier this week that LTE will be the "standout" feature of the Apple Watch 3.
Bloomberg has backed this up, having heard from 'people familiar with the matter' that the Apple Watch 3 would feature cellular connectivity, noting that Intel has apparently been signed up to supply the LTE modems for the devices.
In typical Apple fashion, LTE reportedly won't ship with every Apple Watch model and will instead be exclusive to pricier models.
KGI further speculated in her note to investors that the third-generation Apple Watch with cellular connectivity will not support 3G connections, only LTE, which will limit which markets in which it can be sold and used.
Kuo also noted that the next-generation Apple Watch is not expected to get a design revamp, despite speculation that a slimmer device was in the works. Instead, the third-gen wearable will be available in the same 38mm and 42mm sizes that first debuted in 2015, according to Kuo.
In terms of numbers, KGI expects Apple to ship 17.5-18 million Apple Watches across this year, with 8-9 million units being new models later this year. Kuo expects fewer than half to be LTE, however, at 35-40 per cent of those units. µ
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