It’s not really a surprise announcement, since many of the details of the new wearable device were found within the iOS 11 GM leak over the weekend to several tech news outlets. Apple just announced the Apple Watch Series 3. The announcement came as part of Cupertino’s “Let’s meet at our place” event on September 12 in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park Campus. The latest wearable device has one major new feature, but the rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic, and not very dramatic at that.
Apple CEO announced that Apple Watch has become the number one wrist-worn timepiece in the world, and boasts 97 percent customer satisfaction. A variety of Apple Watch owners were highlighted with letters and videos of their appreciation of the wearable device.
LTE Capability Is the Order of the Day
The only real change in the Apple Watch Series 3, actually, is the new LTE capability. You now have to choose from two models of each Apple Watch variant, a non-LTE and an LTE version. The LTE model of the Apple Watch is notable by the red accent on the Digital Crown.
The cellular capability of Apple Watch 3 was predicted by noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who thought it would only be for data connectivity.
Since the iOS 11 GM leak, however, we’ve become aware of a new phone complication on the Watch face, along with a signal meter. The phone complication hinted at calling capabilities, which were confirmed by Apple during the event. Yes, you can place calls using your Apple Watch, without having your iPhone around. To support great reception, the entire display of the Apple Watch Series 3 is used as a UMTS and LTE antenna.
You can also enjoy streaming data without your iPhone nearby. That means you can listen to Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, or other streaming music services without having your handset with you. In fact, Apple Music will be directly installed on the Apple Watch.
A new dual-core processor powers the device, offering better performance and allowing even Siri to speak to you. The W2 wireless chipset provides 85 percent faster Wi-Fi and 50 percent better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth power usage. The new Apple Watch Series 3 also includes a built-in barometric altimeter.
New Band Colors for the Apple Watch
Cupertino let us in on some new bands to go with Apple Watch Series 3. Existing Watch bands will still fit the wearable device, but new color options have been unveiled. Also, a new Sport Loop band has been introduced.
We also got a view of new bands by Hermés and a new color scheme for the Nike Plus variant.
All of these new bands will also fit your existing Apple Watch, no matter with generation of wearable device you have.
Pricing and Availability
The non-LTE Apple Watch Series 3 will start at $329 for a 38mm case and $359 for the 42mm model. Meanwhile, the LTE variant will retail beginning at $399 for a 38mm Watch, and $429 for the 42mm variant.
The LTE service plan for your Apple Watch Series 3 will cost $10 per month from AT&T and Verizon, with Verizon offering three free months of service for the wearable device. No word yet on pricing from Sprint or T-Mobile.
Customers will be able to preorder Apple Watch Series 3 beginning Friday, September 15 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the US Virgin Island. The wearable device will begin shipping on September 22. Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS-only capability will be available in the United Arab Emirates on September 23. Other countries will begin getting the new device in 2018.