Apple plans to release the latest version of its smartwatch series later this year, and there seems to be a lot to look forward to. This includes a new connectivity feature that aims to reduce the device's dependence on the iPhone as well as a redesign on the overall look and form. Its current installment, the Apple Watch Series 2, was last introduced in September 2016.

Built-in LTE

The Series 2 requires the smartwatch to have a wireless connection to an iPhone to enable streaming music, downloading map directions, and sending messages on the go. The phone needed to be within the range of the watch for users to do most tasks including receive calls and notifications.

For the next series, Apple plans to release a product with built-in LTE. This integration means that the smartwatch owners can make use of their device with full functionality despite the distance. For example, a user can leave their smartphone at home, but still be able to download new songs and use apps on their Apple Watch.

According to Bloomberg, Intel will be supplying the watch's LTE modem. The move is such a big deal considering the fight between Intel and Qualcomm, who used to be Apple's modem supplier. For years, Qualcomm worked with Apple, but the two recently got involved in a legal dispute over unpaid licensing fees over patents.

With these latest updates, more details are still expected to follow. It is still uncertain if all models to hit the market will be equipped with LTE chips or if there will be an option for without.

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This is the similar approach with the iPad, just with an added premium charge for cellular service. It is also likely that the new Watch Series will require an extra data plan with some sort of pairing to an iPhone, at least on some level. Some people also expressed concern about the battery life since the current model does not even last a full day.

An all-new form factor?

Reports say that the new smartwatch line will get receive its first redesign refresh since the first series was launched in 2015. If this is the case, a redesigned Apple Watch will remain consistent with the company's usual two-year design incubation period done on portable devices. This was evident for the design cycles of the iPhone and iPad, but non-portable items like the Mac requires a longer cycle.

It can be recalled that when Apple Watch Series 2 was released, the company said that its internal upgrades could be compared to the iPhone "s" series. Changes in redesign and profile have been intended to happen on the next model, which is to debut this year.

Series 2 did undergo component updates including a GPS module, brighter display, faster processor, and water resistant chassis. However, the aesthetics remained untouched.

For the new Form Factor, it is not confirmed whether the smartwatch will retain its iconic square shape. Some are excited to see if they would now include a round-faced option. If Apple pushes for a refreshed design, it would be a breath of fresh air from its current offerings.