On Thursday, sources familiar with Apple’s plans revealed to 9to5Mac that the second generation Apple Watch, which has been rumored to come out in 2016, will have a front camera, more advanced Wi-Fi chip, the same amount of battery life and be available in more models with other price points.
The first generation Apple Watch lacked a camera even though the top smartwatches in the market, like Samsung’s Gear 2, featured a camera. Those familiar with Apple’s plans say that one of the current models they are considering for the second generation has a new video camera integrated in the top bezel. This would allow the Apple Watch to initiate FaceTime Video calls in addition to the FaceTime Audio calls it will be receiving in the watchOS 2 update this fall. The update will also allow developers to have access to other hardware parts, like the digital crown, so we expect the camera will be available to developers as well. This would allow for numerous pictures apps like Photo Booth, video messaging apps like Skype and more.
The second generation Apple Watch will have more functions due to its advanced Wi-Fi chip that doesn’t require the iPhone to constantly be connected to it. Although the iPhone will still be required for large content downloads, like software updates, the watch will be able to complete basic communication tasks like messaging or emailing without them passing through the iPhone first. In addition, the watch will use a special triangulation method through Wi-Fi to determine its location instead of relying on the iPhone’s GPS. This will speed up many of the functions since the watch will be directly talking to the Internet instead of talking to the iPhone and then the iPhone to the Internet.
For battery life, Apple has noticed that its users are satisfied with charging the Apple Watch every night. The battery power is enough to last the day and into the evening before it requires being charged. Based on studies they have conducted, most devices have at least thirty percent power left at the end of the day. Apple plans on retaining this for the second generation Apple Watch by keeping the same or slightly increasing the battery capacity.
Finally, Apple is looking into more price points for the Apple Watch so they can expand beyond the current prices of $350, $500-$1000 and $10,000+. They are specifically looking at designing watches that fit between the one thousand and the ten thousand dollar marks. The watches may have new casing materials or more advanced bands. Before the first Apple Watch was announced last year, it was rumored that one watch would have a casing made of platinum. Apple decided to go with gold, steel and aluminum, but they may be returning to platinum for the next generation. The source of our report proposed that Apple might be considering titanium or tungsten as well.
The Apple Watch 2 has been rumored to come out “sometime” in 2016, but we expect to see it in April. It’s not likely the watch would be pushed back to the fall since we expect to see the completely redesigned iPhone 7 at that time.