If you were planning to buy the upcoming Apple Watch thinking you would not have to buy an iPhone for it, you may have to wait longer. Apparently Apple has not managed to include a cellular chip in the watch according to a Bloomberg report. So, the watch would still need to connect to iPhone for most of its functions.
Since the launch of Apple Watch last year, many cellular networks and users have been demanding to decouple the watch from iPhone. This would have make it a standalone device with an independent cellular chip.
However, the Bloomberg report cited people with the knowledge of the matter who said that the company was indeed trying to do the same. It was even in talks with major cellular networks in the US and Europe to add cellular connectivity to the Apple Watch.
On papers, the feature meant that one could download mapping info, email or sports score alerts even outside the reach of iPhone. But the company has hit few major roadblocks which would not make this possible at least for now.
Reportedly, the small size of Apple watch pose main problem to accomodate a cellular chip antenna inside it. It was also resulting into a high battery drainage resulting into a less than average user experience.
Apple has begun to study low powered cellular data chips to deal with this problem but it won’t see the light of the day, atleast until next year.
However, the people mentioned above also said that Apple has managed to include an independent GPS chip inside the Watch. This will allow peope to accurately track their walking or running distances without being near their iPhones.
The feature is in line with Apple plans to turn Watch into a complete, independent fitness and health tracker. The chip will increase the accuracy of navigation system as well. Apple had revealed in June that it would bring new health features to WatchOS this fall.
These include an app to track breathing and new watch faces with integrated activity statistics. The update will also allow people to switch faster between watch faces and access battery and audio controls through a new swipe-up menu.
Ultimately, Apple plans to completely detether the Apple Watch from iPhone according to Bloomberg sources. However, we may have to wait more before that becomes reality. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on any of these reports.