How soon will the AW be totally independent?

JamerG

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 30, 2015
56
23
The release of series 3 with LTE has got me thinking - how soon (if ever) will you be able to run an Apple Watch without owning an iPhone?

Whilst I get that lots of people would have no interest in this, this is actually quite an attractive option for me. I love my (series 0) AW and use my 10.5 iPad Pro for nearly everything else - my ageing iPhone 6 is now only really useful for playing podcasts and Apple Music.

I can completely imagine in the future having no phone, and making / receiving calls from the Watch using AirPods. Short texts and emails could be dictated, longer ones done from the iPad if it could be tethered to the mobile data on the watch. Music, podcasts etc could easily run from the Watch.

The question is - what’s your best guess as to when this might happen? Have I bought my last iPhone?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,369
30,644
The release of series 3 with LTE has got me thinking - how soon (if ever) will you be able to run an Apple Watch without owning an iPhone?

I can completely imagine in the future having no phone, and making / receiving calls from the Watch using AirPods.
The Apple Watch still relies on WatchOS updates from the iPhone/iOS to correspond together and being patched over to the Apple Watch. I personally don't see this happening anytime in the future with Apple, if at all. I personally think the most independency we will see is LTE as it is now. I also question who would solely try to survive on an Apple Watch without an iPhone, especially given battery constraints as it is.
 
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TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
3,198
5,169
South Carolina, United States
Unfortunately, we are not at the point where we can just get rid of the iPhone yet. While the smartphone category as a whole is slowing down in innovations, it will take some time for smartwatches (or whatever other device) to become the necessary mobile hub in our lives.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I think Apple will make it an option when battery technology gets to the point where it can last all day with LTE active. I also think that is a long way off.
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,339
2,453
Buffalo, NY
The iPad needed a computer when it first came out for initial activation and backups. It took about a year and a half for that restriction to leave.

The problem with the watch is there is such a small screen, and memory is limited that there needs to be another computer/phone to help with this and store the data.

I bet within 2 years, you'll be able to choose to pair to an iPad or Mac instead of a phone. And maybe in 3-4 years, a non-Apple product.

It will happen. It will just take time. The future I want is to wear a watch, have no phone, but use a tablet for everything else. I don't need to facebook on the go - a tablet is fine when I get home.
 
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PieTunes

Contributor
May 6, 2016
454
675
San Diego, CA
The watch is designed and marketed as a companion device for your iPhone, not a replacement or something to be used completely in lieu of. I can see some things, such as some configuration options or whatever, over time being migrated to the watch where you don't need the iPhone to change/reconfigure settings, but I don't think we will ever see a completely independent watch.
 

ImBuz

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
309
233
California
It will happen--when they can squeeze more into a smaller form factor--
Look how far our phones have come with miniature innovation--more powerful than the computer they used to do the Moonshot--it will happen, perhaps sooner than expected.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,339
2,453
Buffalo, NY
The watch is designed and marketed as a companion device for your iPhone, not a replacement or something to be used completely in lieu of. I can see some things, such as some configuration options or whatever, over time being migrated to the watch where you don't need the iPhone to change/reconfigure settings, but I don't think we will ever see a completely independent watch.
CURRENTLY the watch is marketed as a companion device. It won't always be that way though.

Apple would love to open up the watch market to the 75% of people that don't own iPhones. Just like people who buy iPads now don't have to have a computer with iTunes like they needed to in 2010.
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,555
1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The carriers also have to wrap their heads around it. They're going to need to get used to people adding all of their devices onto their cellular subscription. It really makes the most sense....one data bucket for a half dozen devices (you're usually only using one or two at a time). Watch, phone, car, laptop, tablet, home phone, etc, etc.

Apple's very good at fitting as much battery into as small a space as possible, but advancements in battery technology have historically been very slow. We're going to need truly wireless charging solutions (not induction pads) to bridge that gap if we're going to get all-day talk times on the watch.
 

GoFlex

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2016
193
72
I'm the same as you, I'd really like to just have an iPad and my Apple Watch. Don't really see the use of a phone.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,575
558
Yea the value for me now in the phone is the camera. When I’m with friends and family I really don’t need my own camera.