Apple Watch 2 will reportedly launch in 2016; could add FaceTime camera, iPhone-free Wi-Fi and more

While the Apple Watch has yet to expand to more markets, Apple is already hard at work on a second-generation model. Reportedly due for release next year, the Apple Watch 2 should elevate your experience with a built-in FaceTime video camera for videoconferencing and improved Wi-Fi features for greater iPhone independence.

There have been rumors that Apple would replace the Apple Watch with its successor by the end of this year, but according to a new report from 9to5Mac, that won’t be the case. The report cites “multiple sources familiar with Apple’s plans,” and states the Cupertino-based company is planning to launch the “Apple Watch 2″ sometime in 2016, and that it will have some noteworthy changes on board.

The first of which is a camera-equipped model, which Apple would focus on FaceTime. This would be installed in the top bezel of the Watch, if the report pans out, and would provide a way for owners to answer and make video calls right from their wrist. Indeed, in watchOS 2 it’s possible to answer FaceTime video calls from the wrist, which are then promptly rerouted to the iPhone for the actual call itself.

Apple also reportedly intends on including a far more dynamic wireless chipset into the next-generation Watch, which will make it less dependent on the iPhone moving forward. This initiative is called “tether-less” within Apple, and the goal is to give more power to the Watch, and to work independently from the iPhone. The Watch does have features that work without the iPhone now, but Apple aims to expand that functionality a great deal in the next iteration of the wearable. However, Apple will continue to use an iPhone connection for large events, including updating the Watch’s software.

As for the Apple Watch 2 battery life, it should stay roughly the same, or be marginally better than the current-generation model.
“According to a source, Apple’s research indicates that average consumers finish each day with between 30% and 40% charge remaining on their Apple Watches, enabling the company’s engineers to change their hardware priorities for future Apple Watch models.“
Add to the mix, Apple reportedly intends on including even more variations of the Watch 2 at price points between $1,000 and $10,000. However, while Apple is apparently considering this option, there’s no information on whether or not this means cheaper gold variants, or more expensive steel models.

Source: 9to5Mac

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