Apple’s next Apple Watch hasn’t popped up in rumor mills as frequently as the iPhone 8 has, so there isn’t a lot of information about the wearable floating about. This state of affairs has changed now with the arrival of a new report that predicts a timeline for its release.
Sources from the upstream supply chain told DigiTimes that the Apple Watch Series 3 will commence shipping starting from the second half of 2017. The device was previously manufactured only by Quanta Computer, but it appears a new firm called Compal Electronics has also entered the picture.
While Compal hasn’t confirmed this development officially, it apparently moved equipment for smart device production to plants in Chongqing recently in preparation for Apple Watch production. The smartwatch lineup supposedly shifted 11.9 million units in 2016, making up 49% of overall smartwatch shipments.
Unfortunately, anyone hoping for a major design refresh might walk away disappointed if a January report by the Economic Daily News holds true. The publication alleged that Apple was going to keep the same core look that it’s got going since 2015 with the very first Apple Watch.
Instead of changing up the external features of the Apple Watch, the brand may just choose to focus on its internal components like it did with the second generation of the wearable, adding features like waterproofing and GPS. However, the third-gen device could get only minor upgrades in the areas of performance and battery life.
Many people are hoping Apple will add LTE support to the Apple Watch Series 3, allowing the device to be truly independent from a paired iPhone.