Apple Watch 3 Won't Have 'Obvious Change' to Form Factor, LTE to Be Main Selling Point

The third-generation Apple Watch, expected to be introduced alongside new iPhones this fall, does not feature an obvious change to form factor, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a new note shared with investors this afternoon, Kuo says LTE connectivity will be the main selling point of the new device.

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The Apple Watch will keep the same two case sizes, 38mm and 42mm, and will be available in LTE and non-LTE versions, much like the iPad. Previous rumors have suggested the major carriers in the United States will offer add-on cellular service for the new LTE Apple Watch, and the plans may work similarly to iPad data plans.

Kuo believes shipments of the new Apple Watch models will reach 8 to 9 million units in the second half of 2017, with the LTE model to account for 35 to 40 percent of shipments. Overall, he forecasts 17.5 to 18 million units shipped in 2017, up 70 percent year-over-year.

According to Kuo, to drive major growth, Apple needs to introduce a radical form factor change, more FDA approvals supporting medical and health applications, and 5G commercialization.

Bloomberg first suggested the third-generation Apple Watch would include support for LTE in early August, allowing the wrist-worn device to be uncoupled from the iPhone for the first time.

Following Bloomberg's report, Daring Fireball's John Gruber said he had heard from a "little birdie" that the third-generation Apple Watch would feature an "all-new form factor," but he warned that the information might be inaccurate.

Based on Kuo's report and a lack of rumors hinting at major design changes, it appears we may not see significant design changes after all.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

gemoritzt Avatar
50 months ago
Sad, just waiting for a slimmer Apple Watch.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
50 months ago
Intersting how many people want a "slimmer design." The Apple Watch is already thinner than most mechanical watches, unless you compare it to cheap quartz movement watches.

Otherwise, having LTE on AW seems interesting. I really wonder how it will affect battery life, and how decent reception will be. Having the option to not carry a phone at all, and just take AW + AirPods is a pretty interesting thought.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
50 months ago
*sigh* was really hoping for a slimmer design. Oh well, on to Apple Watch 4.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
50 months ago
Here come the complaints.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
576316 Avatar
50 months ago
wait, I thought people were saying screw slimmer, we want more battery!?!? im so confused

Will Safari at least be snappier?
I think battery life is fine. I want a round version of Apple Watch!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsmornot Avatar
50 months ago
Thats fine.

Edit: The more I think about this the more I dont want another device on my plan. I might buy an LTE version so I can but I dont know that I want another charge on the account since what I have today suits me fine. Maybe my better buy is an update without LTE, guess I will have to see if they announce anything and what they have to say about it.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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