Updated models with AMD graphics options expected in early 2017.
Faster Apple Watch 2 With GPS, Barometer, Larger Battery, and Same Thickness to Launch Later This Year
Kuo, well connected within the supply chain, believes the second-generation Apple Watch will retain the same screen sizes and thickness as existing models, with a similar form factor overall, despite adopting thinner display technology. However, while the Apple Watch 2 was once rumored to include cellular connectivity, Kuo does not expect LTE support until 2017.
The analyst also predicted that upgraded first-generation Apple Watch models will debut in the second half of 2016 with similar processor and waterproofing upgrades, but likely without the Apple Watch 2's most significant additions like a GPS and barometer. Kuo expects another Apple Watch price cut once the new models are launched, but remains conservative about prospective shipments in 2017.
Apple Watch shipments could rise further between 2018 and 2020, pending significant form factor changes, FDA approvals supporting more medical and health applications, and 5G network commercialization, according to Kuo.
Apple has been pushing iPhone and Apple Watch sales together, so updated models of each device launching in tandem would be appropriate. The tentatively named iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rumored to launch on September 16, with pre-orders possibly starting a week earlier on September 9, so all-new Apple Watch 2 and upgraded Apple Watch 1 models could debut around those dates.
Kuo did not confirm if the Apple Watch 2 will have a FaceTime camera and expanded Wi-Fi capabilities as previously rumored.