Just two weeks ago, there was a lot of excitement toward the 2017 version of the Apple Watch as it was revealed that the new device would have LTE capabilities. This came one year after it was rumored that Apple was trying to get LTE capabilities on the Apple Watch Series 2, but couldn’t find a way to offer a satisfying battery life.
An LTE, or even a 4G, radio takes up a lot of juice, and Apple didn’t want to let their customers down. The Apple Watch 2 has been a bigger hit than 2015’s version of Apple’s smart device, but it still hasn’t brought in the numbers Apple and industry insiders had expected.
When Business Insider confirmed the new 2017 Watch will indeed have built-in LTE connectivity, many said that the new Apple Watch is a device they would buy. Of course, they assumed that, like the Samsung Gear S3, it meant that you wouldn’t have to be near your iPhone for your watch to be able to make or receive calls. It was assumed that the Apple Watch 3 could take on the phone number of your smartphone so you can receive calls and text messages on your smartwatch while you are away from your main phone.
While a voice service that replaces the iPhone’s calling functionality is possible, Unfortunately, according to MacRumors, it looks like Apple is working on improving the user experience of data transmission as the main priority for the new Watch. Therefore, there will not be any LTE call functions when the watch arrives.
Samsung’s current Gear S3 smartwatch has LTE phone capabilities, and it’s likely that the Gear S4 will as well. According to the Sunday Express, it looks like Samsung’s new LTE smartwatch could be announced next week.
“Samsung will take the wraps off its next-generation Gear S smartwatch next week at IFA. The South Korean company confirmed to U.S. news network CNBC that it plans to use the consumer technology conference to unveil the successor to the Gear S3.”
The article adds that Samsung believes that the market will keep growing if they can properly make a smartwatch that monitors everything for your health and provides all types of information. Besides LTE capabilities, rumors suggest that the Gear S4 will incorporate Samsung’s new digital assistant, Bixby.
Samsung’s Gear S3 received excellent reviews when released last year. Tech Radar gave Samsung’s device four stars.
“Bigger, bolder and more feature-rich than ever, this is a brilliant smartwatch in many ways. It just depends on whether you actually want a digital timepiece – and if you’re prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege.”
The regular version of the Gear S3 costs anywhere between $320 and $350, but the LTE version costs closer to $400, depending on what carrier you buy the watch from. Sales for the Gear S3 have been nothing to write home about.
Perhaps with the release of the Apple Watch 3 and the Gear S4, smartwatch sales will finally take off. Apple is usually the company that makes a device go mainstream, but without LTE calling capabilities, the 2017 Apple Watch may just become another footnote in smartwatch history.
[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]