Apple will announce a new Apple Watch this year, but it will look exactly the same as the Series 2 with only one major noticeable change.
The news comes from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo via a shared note to investors. He revealed a third generation Apple Watch will come out this year, but it will not feature an “obvious change in form factor.” That means we won’t see a redesigned Apple Watch for at least another year.
Apple will still sell the two different variants of the Apple Watch: 38mm and 42mm. The main difference from past generations will be the addition of LTE connectivity. Apple has been rumored to include cellular connectivity in its wearable device for many years now, but this may finally be the year the feature is included.
The inclusion of LTE will allow the third generation Apple Watch to function completely independent from the iPhone. Right now, the Series 2 only offers GPS, but for anything else, you’ll have to be near your iPhone.
Kuo also stated he believes Apple will ship 8 to 9 million Apple Watch units in the second half of 2017, of which the Series 3 wearable will account for 35 to 40-percent. For the totality of the year, he forecasts Apple will ship between 17.5 million and 18 million—a 70-percent increase over 2016.
It’s disappointing Apple is still sticking with the same Apple Watch design but the news is hardly shocking. Apple seems to be buying its time before it finally redesigns its first wearable device. First introduced in 2014, it may be up to four years before Apple introduces a new version of the Apple Watch.