The Apple Watch is still very young, having only made its official debut about two months ago, but a new report claims to have information about the next version of Apple Watch, which it says could include FaceTime video calling via a built-in camera, as well as more features available when the Watch is used away from an iPhone.
The report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, who has an excellent track record regarding Apple’s future product plans, says that a camera module will be embedded in the top bezel of the next-generation of Apple Watch, according to the company’s current product plans. He also claims that Apple will allow the Watch to do more while away from its paired iPhone, including tackling basic communication via things like iMessage. Wi-Fi hotspot triangulation tech could also allow for Find my Watch to allow for the wearable to be tracked if lost or stolen.
Apple Watch battery life is said to be roughly the same in the next generation, requiring a nightly charge. It’s unlikely to see this go away within the foreseeable future – Apple will likely prioritize new features and capabilities like those listed above, along with things coming in watchOS 2 like native third-party applications before it tries to stretch battery life to more than a day. That’s because consumer expectations are now set, so staying on par will allow it to do more without disappointing anyone.
Another interesting tidbit from the report: Apple is apparently looking to expand the range of its Watch offerings, with models designed to entice customers in the price ranges between the top-end Watch collection at around $1,000, and the Apple Watch Edition starting at $10,000. New models would easily make Apple Watch the most varied product line the company has ever made, but if there’s opportunity there that doesn’t involve a lot of overhaul on the production and supply side, it would make sense for Apple to pursue it.
This next-gem Apple Watch, which of course could change dramatically in the course of Apple’s product design process, isn’t set to launch until 2016, which makes sense given how young the first model is.
We’ve contacted Apple and will update if they provide any comment.