Apple's Series Three Apple Watch to Include Cellular Connection

Apple's third-generation Apple Watch, set to launch later this year, will include its own LTE for a standalone cellular connection, reports Bloomberg.

With a cellular connection, the new Apple Watch models will be untethered from the iPhone, able to stream music, send messages, download apps, and connect to the internet without the need for an iPhone.


It's not clear if a standalone cellular plan will be needed for the Apple Watch, but it seems likely. According to Bloomberg, only a subset of carriers who sell the iPhone will support the Apple Watch, but in the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all plan to offer the LTE Apple Watch when it launches.

Intel, not Qualcomm, will supply the LTE modems for the Apple Watch.

Cellular connectivity for the Apple Watch is not a new rumor - we've been hearing hints of it since before the Series 2 Apple Watch was released last September. Battery issues have reportedly been holding Apple back - a cellular connection drains battery more quickly.

Previous third-generation Apple Watch rumors have suggested Apple is focusing primarily on improving battery life and the company may have made enough progress to compensate for LTE connectivity.

Aside from the inclusion of an LTE chip, not much is known about the next Apple Watch. Rumors have pointed towards a more minor update that focuses on under-the-hood hardware and performance improvements rather than external design changes.

Bloomberg believes the cellular-capable Apple Watch will launch this fall alongside new iPhones, but cautions that the device could be delayed beyond 2017.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has corroborated Bloomberg's report and says Apple will introduce an LTE Apple Watch this year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cellular Apple Watch will likely be rolled into existing wireless plans for an additional monthly charge, similar to how LTE tablets work.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
37 months ago
Pretty soon the "family" part of "family plan" will mean the various members of your Apple Family (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.) rather than your biological family. :p
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
Assuming it needs its own plan.. I'm out. This type of thing should be easily connected to a current plan with no up-charge. But this is carriers we are talking about.. they nickle and dime everyone.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
Steaming Apple Music with just my Apple Watch and AirPods? Yes please!

Imagine going biking or jogging with just a watch and having millions of songs to choose from. No more of this:
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
I hope they sell a series 3 without the LTE. I'll be ready to replace my series 0 but am not interested in a stand alone internet device with a postage stamp sized screen.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
One step closer to a true Dick Tracy watch. Likely data only, no untethered voice or video calls yet.

I suspect it will have an eSIM and perhaps this will be Apple's first foray as a MVNO.




The cellular modem would likely improve battery life by using cellular and wifi location instead of GPS all the time.

Also means they can add a compass and use cellular data to get true vs magnetic north offset based on location.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

The only Apple product that needs to be thinner, passed my series 2 never liked the bulky design. Hope it's thinner.

Srsly? Used the S2 for a while now, and stil cant understand why some people complain about that its bulky? Its a beautiful piece of tech.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14 Again Said to Be Compatible With All iPhones Able to Run iOS 13

Monday June 1, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones and iPod touch models able to run iOS 13, according to information shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. The compatibility data was allegedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 and confirmed by what The Verifier says is a "trusted source from the system development process." iOS 13 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, with a full...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 With Fixes for Recent 'unc0ver' Jailbreak Vulnerability

Monday June 1, 2020 9:58 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, minor updates that come a little over a week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.5, major updates that brought the Exposure Notification API, FaceTime changes, mask-related unlocking updates and more. The iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings >...

Mockups Depict iPhone 12 Lineup Sizes, Relocated SIM Tray

Monday June 1, 2020 1:22 pm PDT by
A series of 3D printed iPhone 12 mockups designed based on leaked schematics and info from Apple's supply chain was today shared by Japanese site Mac Otakara, giving us a first look at what we can expect from the 2020 iPhone lineup. Rumors have suggested Apple will release four iPhone 12 models in 2020: A 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

Apple Music Joins Music Industry's Blackout Tuesday Awareness Campaign

Tuesday June 2, 2020 1:31 am PDT by
Apple Music has cancelled its Beats 1 radio schedule for Blackout Tuesday and is suggesting that listeners tune in to a radio stream celebrating the best in black music. Blackout Tuesday is a campaign organized by the music industry to support Black Lives Matter after Minneapolis citizen George Floyd was killed by police in the course of his arrest. On launching Apple Music, many users...

6.1-inch 'iPhone 12' Production to Begin in July Ahead of Other 2020 Models

Monday June 1, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Volume production of Apple's forthcoming 6.1-inch "iPhone 12" models will start in July-August ahead of the rest of the company's flagship iPhone lineup this year, according to a new report by DigiTimes. Apple is widely rumored to be launching four new ‌iPhone‌ models in the usual September or October timeframe, although supply constraints and delays in production ramp-up could cause a...

Apple Releases tvOS 13.4.6 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV Models

Monday June 1, 2020 9:56 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 13.4.6, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that runs on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 13.4.6 comes a little over a week after the release of tvOS 13.4.5. tvOS 13.4.6, a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software ...