With the Apple Watch only just starting to become available in Apple Stores, details about its sequel are already leaking. Sources who are apparently familiar with the company’s planning are suggesting that, in addition to being available in a greater range of models priced between $1000 and $10,000, the Apple Watch 2 is going to have some major new features and will be released next year.
One of the biggest new features will be an embedded camera allowing users to enjoy FaceTime, Apple’s video call platform, on the Apple Watch. Of course, that is going to require WiFi, and while the current Apple Watch’s connectivity issues are limited somewhat, with the device relying largely on iPhone tethering for most of its online functions, Apple is reportedly planning an improved WiFi chip for the next smartwatch. That, in turn, will also allow for greater independence from the iPhone; apparently this initiative is being referred to as “tether-less” internally.
The move away from tethering could be a bid to stay competitive with competitors in the smartwatch market – most notably Samsung, whose forthcoming Gear A device will probably use its independence from tethering as a major selling point when it hits the market later this year.
Little else is known about the Apple Watch 2, and these leaked details could easily prove wrong down the road, but for what it’s worth they seem to be logical developments for the next iteration of the device. Of course, for now, Apple is probably focusing more on selling the original Apple Watch, whose weirdly slow and stilted rollout has seen demand far outstrip supply.