When Apple released its quarterly financial results earlier this month, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple Watch sales had jumped 50 percent since last year. While the wearables industry still hasn’t taken off the way companies hoped, it seems Apple is the exception, which could be why it’s reportedly sticking with the same design in the next version of the Apple Watch.
As noted by 9to5Mac, reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note that says the Apple Watch 3 won’t look much different from its predecessors. In addition to the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” thinking, ensuring compatibility with accessories designed for the earlier Watches could also have factored into this decision.
Kuo notes that the Apple Watch 3 will come in both 4G LTE and non-LTE variants, with the former being more expensive – the price of not having to pair it with an iPhone. The analyst predicted that the cellular connectivity will not support 3G, limiting the markets where the wearable can be sold. He added that the devices would ship in the same 38mm and 42mm sizes as the other watches.
An earlier Bloomberg report claims Intel will build the wearables’ modems, rather than long-term partner Qualcomm, which is likely due to the legal battle the two companies are currently involved in. It also mentions that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint will support the cellular model.
Kuo predicts that Apple will ship 17.5 million to 18 million watches this year, with 8-9 million of these being new models. He believes that the non-LTE versions will be more popular, making up 60 – 65 percent of these units.
The Apple Watch 3 will likely be unveiled alongside the new iPhones sometime next month.