Steve Wozniak might be worried about the product’s direction and critics might have already declared it a failure, but the numbers speak in the Apple Watch’s favor. In its first anniversary, Apple‘s first and so far only wearable is believed to have performed better than the iPhone in its own first year, with Apple selling twice as much Apple Watches. Despite lingering disappointment in some corners, those figures might be giving Apple the confidence boost to actually make the next Apple Watch work independently from an iPhone, going as far as sporting its own Internet connection.
Apple might already be laying the foundations for that. Just recently, it gave developers the heads up to ensure that their apps must switch over to the watchOS 2 SDK. Part of that requires the Apple Watch app to run on the smartwatch itself, even if not connected to the iPhone at that moment, in case the connection fails due to distance or some other technical difficulty.
This insider information, however, takes that another step further. With its own cellular network connectivity, the next Apple Watch could be used completely without an iPhone nearby. Sure, you will still need the iPhone to set it up, install and remove apps, and other maintenance tasks. But for things like replying to messages, syncing app data, or maybe even doing voice calls, the Apple Watch 2 would be able to stand on its own. This is pretty much the same functionality that Samsung’s Gear S2 boasts of, as well as some Android Wear smartwatches of late.
That could, perhaps, solve a part of the Apple Watch’s perceived weakness, that it really doesn’t offer much unique functionality that the iPhone itself cannot do. This rumored feature, however, turns that into a strength, so that you can, presumably, make Apple Pay transactions even if you left the iPhone at home for a morning jog.
The Apple Watch 2 is also said to sport a beefier processor, though details are still slim on that one. Whether or not it will actually add GPS functionality will depend on how far Apple is willing to take this iPhone independence.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal