The next-generation Apple Watch won’t totally cut ties with the iPhone when it launches later this fall.
Although Apple plans to add a number of much-needed features to the Apple Watch 2, a new report claims the company hit roadblocks when trying to make a major change that would have added LTE or other cellular data connection capabilities to the device.
“The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking,” reports Bloomberg. “The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking.”
The lack of GPS has been one of the biggest complaints against the Apple Watch, which requires runners and cyclists to carry their iPhones with them during a workout to get an accurate reading of how far they’ve gone.
Apple has reportedly been in talks with mobile phone carriers this year to add cellular connectivity to Apple Watch, which would allow wearers to download emails, maps, sports score alerts and more without an iPhone. Executives at Apple supposedly told carriers that the earliest it could ship cellular Apple Watch models would have been December of this year, so the company pushed the feature to a future model.
The cause of the delay is allegedly related to battery life. Batteries would drain much faster if a cellular chip were added to the watch.
Considering less-than-stellar battery life is one of the other big complaints against the Apple Watch, it’s probably a good thing Apple is saying no to LTE for now.