While the big news in gadgets today is undeniably the iPhone X with its built-in facial recognition system, Apple did announce another important new device – the Apple Watch Series 3.
The major development with this iteration of Apple’s signature smartwatch is its incorporation of LTE cellular connectivity. To be clear, Apple’s arch-rival Samsung is the real pioneer in this area, having introduced 4G LTE connectivity in its new Gear S3 Classic smartwatch earlier this year; but for many Apple fans the new functionality will come as a major development, with the Apple Watch Series 3 also slated to support music streaming when the watchOS 4 operating system is launched this autumn.
But Apple is also taking clearly taking aim at rivals in the fitness tracking domain with the new wearable. Apple’s official announcement of the device touted its “powerful new health and fitness enhancements”, with an upgraded Heart Rate app providing detailed cardiac biometrics data and even offering a notification system for when a user’s heart rate exceeds a certain level outside of exercise. Meanwhile, new functionality is planned for watchOS 4 that will allow the device to interface with cardio equipment for more accurate biometric monitoring.
The new addition to Apple’s smartwatch line strongly suggests that the pioneering device category is here to stay, even if smartwatches haven’t quite gone mainstream yet. And with Fitbit poised to launch its own smartwatch this holiday season, Apple won’t be alone in championing the smartwatch concept to a market that may be warming up to the idea.