We heard previously that the design of the new Apple Watch 3 would be very similar to that of the existing Apple Watch.
Here NPD is clearly pointing to the Apple Watch, which is now the runaway leader in the smartwatch space now that some makers of Android-powered smartwatches have backed away from the market after tepid sales. In typical Apple fashion, LTE won't ship with every Apple Watch model but will rather be exclusive to pricier models. When outside of Wi-Fi range and an accompanying iPhone, the Apple Watch Series 2 is unable to use apps that require data connectivity, like FaceTime. Apple is expected to launch the new smartwatch alongside next generation iPhones in September.
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Additionally, Kuo also feels that enabling VoIP in the next Apple Watch will make negotiations between mobile operators simple and the internal antenna design can be simplified by scrapping 3G connectivity.
The Apple Watch Series 3 has also been reported not to feature a SIM card slot, but it should take advantage of eSIM technology. Given Kuo's track record and Gruber's own skepticism regarding a new Apple Watch design, it's probably fair to say that Apple's 2017 Apple Watch lineup will essentially look no different from its current lineup, new band designs notwithstanding.