You know that old saying about buses: you wait ages for one and then several turn up at the same time? Well, according to analyst Timothy Arcuri from Cowen & Co, the same is about to prove true of Apple Watches.
In a new note to clients, Arcuri claims that an Apple Watch version 2.0 will turn up later this year and that, unlike its predecessor, it won’t require an iPhone to be tethered to it in order to work. Arcuri also thinks this will be Apple’s first device to boast an OLED screen exclusively supplied by Samsung.
Will it happen? At some point, certainly. I’m not going to speculate about Samsung being Apple’s exclusive provider of OLED screens, but I’d be surprised if there’s not a follow-up Apple Watch in 2016 (so a bit later than Arcuri says), especially once Apple has figured out the sensors it apparently wanted for the first generation device.
As the Apple Watch grows as its own product, it also makes sense that it will be less a second screen for your iPhone and more its own class of device. Will Apple ditch the idea of you having to tether it to your iPhone, though? Given the company’s tightly interlocking ecosystem, I think that’s very unlikely.
Sure, it’s likely that Apple will open up more features of the device to developers, which means that we’ll get apps that don’t require the iPhone to work, but I just can’t see Apple abandoning the idea of the Apple Watch being a useful accessory for its best-selling product category. The Apple Watch may succeed on its own terms, but it’s also there to make the iPhone experience better.
In the meantime, we’ll wait and see if Arcuri’s previous prediction about a 4-inch iPhone 6s comes true. If it does, that makes this rumor slightly more believable — although only slightly.