With the Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 periodically on sale now, Apple is obviously planning a Series 3 release, however, timing of that release is uncertain. Conventional wisdom says that they’re announcing the Apple Watch 3 in tandem with the 10th anniversary iPhone, but we’ve also seen speculation that it could be delayed until 2018. In any case, here is what we know so far (or think we know).
Apple Watch Series 3: New Features
By far, the single-best feature that we expect with the Apple Watch 3 is independent 4G cellular connectivity (i.e. you don’t need your phone with you to access text messages and make phone calls). This would be huge. By far the biggest upgrade we think Apple could make. There’s also the very real possibility that Apple creates two versions of the watch: a 4G and non-4G model.
It’s also predicted that Apple is going to switch its screen technology from an OLED display to micro-LED, however, some recent reports out of Wall Street suggest the micro-LED technology may not be ready for the next Apple Watch. Devices using micro-LEDs are said to be thinner and lighter, have increased brightness and a higher resolution, which would be great. Micro-LED is also supposed to help improve battery life.
Further, recent patent filings indicate that Apple could incorporate an in-display fingerprint scan with infrared diodes for increased accuracy. They also filed another patent to move the haptic vibration motor to the strap. Some also have said the band will have a small display for time and notifications. Hmm…my Spidey senses are tingling that the changeable bands will go up to $100 through Apple and they probably won’t debut this until the next generation of the Apple Watch.
Lastly, a camera is one of the biggest things missing from the current Apple Watches. We’ve heard rumblings that there might be a camera in the Series 3, allowing users to make and receive FaceTime calls and take selfies. We’re lukewarm on this. It would most likely hurt battery life and it’s not a feature we think consumers are really asking for at present.
Apple Watch Series 3: Focus on Sporty Software
Depending on when the Series 3 launches, it will most likely run on WatchOS 4 when the iPhone 8 is released. Rumor has it that it will be even more tailored to sports, health, and fitness. What exactly this means, we do not know. The sports app as well as the activity tracking app on the Apple Watch could use some attention, especially as compared to the setup of Fitbit and Garmin. At the end of the day, the more Apple perfects fitness, the more market share it will take from Fitbit, most prominently, but also Garmin. We do expect Apple to continue to make strides on the sports side of things. Here’s a no-brainer addition that Apple needs to make: sleep support. While the limit here is obviously battery life, assuming that the battery life does improve, adding sleep support would be a nice touch.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our full Apple Watch Series 2 Review.