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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.


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.

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Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Sad, just waiting for a slimmer Apple Watch.
Rating: 31 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 22 Votes
15 months ago
*sigh* was really hoping for a slimmer design. Oh well, on to Apple Watch 4.
Rating: 19 Votes
15 months ago
Here come the complaints.
Rating: 11 Votes
15 months ago
Argh, really? Would a slightly slimmer version be too much to ask for, even if they never give us a round one?
Rating: 10 Votes
15 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!
Rating: 10 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 10 Votes
15 months ago
What about a always on display and a 3rd party watch faces App Store to make it look like an actual watch and not like a liitle toy??

I love my siries 0 alot, serves me well for the last two years, but its Needs a significant watch faces refresh and an always on display ASAP,
this is why it fell to be a real watch replacement (what jony ive thought it would become) and became a fitness device only, it just don't feel like a real watch, too gadgety with the black screen all the time, a cool accessory for the gym and for notifications
That's why apple closed galary la fayett store that tried to competet with real watches, and cancelled the "rolex like" gold option, its not a watch until it doesn't have always on display and hermes style watch faces, now its a fitness tracker with notifications alert and i dont think lte is the way to convince non technological peaple to switch their swatch to apple watch
Rating: 9 Votes
15 months ago

Argh, really? Would a slightly slimmer version be too much to ask for, even if they never give us a round one?

wait, I thought people were saying screw slimmer, we want more battery!?!? im so confused

Will Safari at least be snappier?
Rating: 8 Votes
15 months ago
it looks like john gruber has a personal vendetta against mark gurman.

first he attacked mark gurman for being late in the rumors. then when mark posted a scoop on the apple watch 3, gruber mentioned that mark missed the form factor change (which he did mention to take it with a grain of salt).


will offer add-on cellular service for the new LTE Apple Watch, and the plans may work similarly to iPad data plans

it might be feasible at $1/mo, but even then i still wouldn't pay for it. maybe apple will offer a free 2 year service.
Rating: 8 Votes

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