Cupertino might be gearing up to begin production of the next-generation Apple Watch sooner than expected. Taiwanese website Commercial Times (via GforGames) reports that manufacturer Quanta could begin trial production of the “Apple Watch 2” as early as the end of January. That could mean the sequel would hit store shelves sometime in April. Is that too soon?
The original Apple Watch began reaching consumers on April 24, 2015. Initial feedback critiqued the speed and battery life of the device, along with its limited functionality when it wasn’t in range of the iPhone it was paired to. For us to really determine whether it’s too soon for a sequel, we need to know whether Apple has had the time to address those concerns and add new functionality to the smartwatch.
The clues that have circulated over the past few months suggest Apple Watch 2 will have a dedicated Wi-Fi chip to give it more independence from the iPhone. Those rumors also pointed to an Apple event sometime in March, when Cupertino could unveil the new smartwatch.
It’s also rumored that the device will feature a thinner case, a FaceTime camera, and other upgrades or updates in its health and medical arenas. That thinner case would make it challenging to improve the battery life, but perhaps Cupertino is developing a contoured battery for the Watch 2, similar to what is currently embedded within the 12-inch Macbook? Additionally, an earlier report from GforGames indicates that LG and and Samsung are developing thinner display panels for the new smartwatch, which would accommodate a larger battery.
Commercial Times’ sources also indicate improvements to the health and medical aspects of the device, particularly an ability to monitor blood pressure and blood oxygen. Nothing has been said of the processor for the device, but Apple has made significant advancements with its CPUs that could make their way into the new device.
It would seem that the past nine months have given Cupertino plenty of time to research and develop new and improved technologies for Apple Watch. We might not have been expecting the Apple Watch 2 until later in the year, but if Cupertino has implemented these improvements and new features into the device, then perhaps beginning trial production in January is perfectly fine. Apple, of course, has not yet commented on or announced the Apple Watch 2.