Could LTE version be on the way?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by betasp, May 12, 2017.

  1. betasp macrumors member

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #1
    With all the recent sales, could an LTE version be on the way? Is it a summer push?
     
  2. pedrowerner macrumors regular

    pedrowerner

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    Aug 24, 2016
  3. Relentless Power, May 12, 2017
    Last edited: May 12, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #4
    Is it possible, yes. Likely Fall IF Series 3 does happen. Summer release won't Happen.

    LTE has been the primary thus far. I think it makes sense for those who want more independency away from the iPhone. But at what costs?
     
  4. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #5
    It IS on its way no doubt, but when that is the question. And how? I think the watch should mirror iPhone LTE settings instead of having its own. The benefit is you don't have to pay another monthly bill of course, and when someone call you it will ring on both the phone and the watch just like before.
    Another benefit, for Apple, is Apple Music will be quite useful when you can stream the whole library without your phone. And Podcasts too.
     
  5. JackieInCo Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    They could make the watch either stand alone capable like the Gear S watch so that it has it's own number and canyunction as a phone able to take and make calls. They can also make it so it's capable of running just as the Apple Watch does now through BT or when you decide to leave the phone at home, switch to remote connection like the Gear S watch so that any notifications and calls from the phone still come through to the watch.

    Apple might come up with variations of the above.
     
  6. chiefs1968 macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2016
    #7
    If LTE does come around and think it will I am looking at ATT charging about $10.00 a month and then the question is do you really need it. I use wifi calling on my watch at home as well at work and many public places that have free or open wifi....I deliberately left my iphone at home onr dsy and was able to use my watch at my business making calls and receiving calls as well as text messages....wifi calling is awsome.
     
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #8
    The Wi-Fi on the Apple Watch is actually fairly impressive with the range as well. There has been many times where I have been within long range of my home or a place that has Wi-Fi which it still connects to my calls.

    If Series 3 has an LTE option, it's not something that would interest me. I don't have a need to have independency away from my iPhone where I need to have my Apple Watch for calls. Also, being I don't believe we will see a physical redesign if Series 3 does launch this fall, I also likely won't be purchasing the same watch design for three straight generations.
     
  8. Abazigal macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    Singapore
    #9
    Eventually, but it's probably another couple of years away. My guess is that Apple will likely time its release to coincide with decreasing demand for the iPhone (just like the iPhone displaced the iPod).
     
  9. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #10
    Usually I agree with you Abazigal, but I don't see Apple waiting a couple years to implement LTE in the Apple Watch. As matter fact, I think it only makes sense for them to continually build increments slowly into the Apple Watch as they have for the last two generations, which LTE would be the next step.

    I See Apple treating the Apple Watch similarly to the iPhone in terms of hardware. For example, take the iPhone 6/6S/7. All three of those iPhones have the The same chassis, with incremental updates. I see the Apple Watch been treated the same with the first generation Apple Watch being introduced, followed by Series 2 with the GPS/water resistance and "Series 3" retaining the same physical design with LTE and other minor enhancements.

    If Apple is going to keep the Apple Watch relevant in An unstable wearable market, there will be some update from this point forward until we see a major refresh.

    I predict the major overhaul to be somewhere around March 2018 with advanced health sensors, possibly micro LED, bands that will have some form of battery power/health advancements, larger display, etc.
     
  10. Abazigal macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
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    Singapore
    #11
    For most part, people are going to have their Watch and iPhone close to each other, so 4g isn't that pressing a concern yet. Other 4g-enabled watches haven't exactly taken off here, so I doubt Apple feels particularly threatened in this regard.

    Maybe when Apple is finally ready to open up the Apple Watch to the android market?

    Nor do I feel that consumers are exactly rushing to add another data plan to their list of bills to play.

    I believe that Apple's priority is to add in more health tracking features and go after the other players in the wearable space. Fitbit is already shaping up as the first casualty of war.

    4g can still wait, imo.
     
  11. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

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    Mar 4, 2003
    #12
    I don't think the challenge is miniaturizing the LTE hardware, I think the challenge is battery capacity. What's the point of having LTE in your watch if you have 30min of connect time?

    Just a quick search suggests Apple Watch has a 0.78Whr battery, and LTE seems to have a max uplink transmit power of something like 600mW of RF power at 64kbps. Taking efficiencies into account, that's about half an hour of transmit time.

    The iPhone 7 is about 10 times the battery capacity.
     
  12. Relentless Power, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #13
    I personally have no need for LTE with an Apple Watch. But I do see Apple potentially taking the route to create some independence away from the iPhone with LTE. Yes, it would tax the monthly bill with the additional service, but from my readings, it seems many would welcome this feature.

    There's no doubt Apple is very health oriented and they likely have ongoing research for the Apple Watch in this field, but I don't see any major advancements until a new version of the Apple Watch is Released. (I.e. More efficient/lower nanometer process, battery power to support some of these advancements.)

    LTE is nothing new with other competitors, and I certainly don't see Apple rushing to the market with this, but it makes sense that they would build incremental features that would be more of an upsell for others to compel to upgrade.
     
  13. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

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    Mar 4, 2003
    #14
    I don't think there's much use for LTE in the watch until it's good enough that you don't need it close to your phone. If I can replace my phone as a data pipe and use my watch when I'm mobile and my iPad otherwise, then LTE will have value for me...

    I'm not sure how much data there is in the map function, but if Apple keeps pushing this as a fitness device then LTE will need to be able to run GPS and keep the maps up to date for a couple hours at least, I think...
     
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #15
    Battery certainly has a significance with LTE, not to mention the other features that will potential drain the battery with the heart rate sensor and "Hey Siri" listening for the microphone. Also, to make the processor more efficient, potentially drawing less power consumption, lowering the nanometer process would also be a benefit from 28 nm currently to say 14 nm. I think that's under-stated as well, especially when you're comparing the processor and the battery, which obviously are in tandem with each other.

    But look at how underrated the series 2 battery is. Apple conservatively rates it at 18 hours and most are well above that depending on the usage/applications. As a matter of fact, I believe the Series 2 just with the GPS deactivated. (Based on user reports.)
     
  15. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

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    #16
    Yeah, but the semiconductor process doesn't change how much radio energy has to be put into the air for communications. And the run time might be conservatively specified, but the battery capacity has to be labeled accurately by law.

    Having said that, I've been thinking through my earlier calculation a bit more. It looks like the series 2 battery is about 1Whr. I'm still not sure about LTE power draw (it gets complicated with all of the overhead), but half a watt at 64kbps seems reasonable.

    So if the watch burns half the battery on LTE comms it'll get about an hour of data transfer. At 64kbps, that's something like 22GB which is way more than most plans would support for a day's use. I'm not sure how much power voice takes, but I could probably get by with half an hour of talk time in a day.

    Maybe we're closer than I originally though...
     
  16. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #17
    I think if we see LTE, I'm curious to know if Apple retains the current processor or do they upgrade to the S3 Chip. I think for what it's worth, the S2 dual processor is fairly improved over the S1. Typically Apple upgrades processors with new iterations of devices, but with the Apple Watch, it's still early to determine where they are leading with this. Surprisingly, if the GPS is deactivated, user reports indicate somewhere near 30% increase in battery. (Also lending user settings.)
     
  17. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

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    #18
    Yeah, I think GPS has some of the same problems. There's a little that can be done by reducing the power of the digital components but it's harder to reduce the power of the RF frontend. GPS needs a pretty low noise, high bandwidth amplifier and A/D and the system signal integrity is already compromised by the fact that the antenna form factor is pretty crappy.

    I'd be curious if GPS power consumption actually goes down with LTE available though. It might be easier to get some of the necessary GPS data message from the network and triangulation from the towers might make acquisition faster.
     
  18. Julien, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017

    Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #19
    All the Sx chips ( :apple:Watch) are actually a 'System in Package' (SiP) chips which is actually a collection of chips and circuits mounted together on a single integrated board chip. So just adding an LTE chip/circuit would make it a different Sx numbered chip. A lot like adding GPS (and other) to the S1P makes it an S2. Both have the same CPU and GPU. Also I'm sure Apple would make some upgrade to all systems including the CPU and GPU portions of the S3 (or any next gem Sx chips) chip. A lot of the time Apple is probably 'forced' to make upgrades because the 3ed party systems/chips/circuits are no longer available or have been upgraded.
     
  19. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

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    #20
    In a lot of phones, the GPS and LTE share a chip, so they may be able to keep the chip count in the SIP the same and still add the extra function.
     
  20. matrix07, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017

    matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #21
    So when my girlfriend calls me on my phone and nobody there she needs to call on my watch number again just to make sure? That's very bad and unpractical implementation.
     
  21. chiefs1968 macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2016
    #22
    shifting the conversation a little bit but how bout a barometer I was under the impression watch series 2 would have it. Is it more of a hardware implementation or a software upgrade for us to see a barometer in series 2 or in future models.
     
  22. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #23
    A barometer is a sensor and his hardware related. Listed Below is a thread that discusses this topic more on hand. I think for some, they would really appreciate this for measuring performance and metrics.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/did-i-miss-mention-of-barometer-in-series-2.1992252/page-3
     
  23. chalmers4three macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #24
    I can speak for at&t. They have a service called numbersync that uses your same cell number for other devices like smart watches and tablets. So no, if she calls your phone and it's is at home, your lte smartwatch rings too.

    Personally I want LTE on my watch for when I run. Listen to Apple music and not have to take my phone for emergencies.
     
  24. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #25
    That sounds great but this kind of service (make the phone and watch in sync) should come from Apple IMO. Relying on third parties implementation (in this case cell providers) will never be a good idea. For tablet and phone it's not that important but phone and watch are like a part of each other.
    That said I'm not technician so it may not be possible technically.
     

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