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Apple Watch 2 Coming with GPS Chip, No Cellular This Year

GPS chip
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The second-generation Apple Watch, which is expected to be called the ‘Apple Watch 2’, will apparently not have all the features previously rumored. Reports had hoped the watch would be not be dependent on the iPhone, but this won’t happen with this generation. According to a new post by Bloomberg, there are technological limitations that will prohibit Apple from making the watch completely independent.

GPS chip

Credit: TrustedReviews

Citing people with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Bloomberg reports the Apple Watch 2 will not have a cellular chip. It will instead use GPS which uses less power and only tracks location. The cellular chip would have allowed the watch to use its own data plan without requiring an iPhone for connection to the Internet. This, however, uses much more battery power and battery life is already an issue. Future generations of the Apple Watch will likely have a cellular chip, but Apple has tabled the idea until they can find one that uses less power.

In place of the cellular chip, Apple will install a GPS chip which will track location. It will be more accurate in following fitness activities, calculating speed and distance, and not require the iPhone to always be nearby. Running would be so much easier with only the Apple Watch for tracking instead of the Apple Watch and the iPhone.

Previous reports also indicated that the watch would have an advanced Wi-Fi chip. This would allow the watch to be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi without being in Bluetooth range of the iPhone. The watch could use email, messages, and show notifications without an iPhone. Plus GPS and Wi-Fi would better triangulate the user’s position instead of GPS alone.

The Apple Watch 2 is still on track to be announced at Apple’s rumored event on September 7th. It will have a similar design with a more powerful SoC processor, barometer, and better waterproofing.