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article imageApple developing non-iPhone watch

By Tim Sandle     Aug 5, 2017 in Technology
Apple are apparently working on a non-iPhone Apple Watch, signalling a step into a wider field of consumer technology outside of the ubiquitous "i" range of products.
News about Apple's new product comes from Bloomberg, who indicate that Apple are developing a type of Apple Watch that does not need to be paired to an iPhone. Instead the new device will be able to connect directly to LTE mobile networks. Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals. LTE is typically marketed as 4G LTE; however, this does not meet the technical criteria of a 4G wireless service. “Long Term Evolution” applies more generally to the idea of improving wireless broadband speeds to meet increasing demand. 4G/LTE is regarded as the next stage in mobile network development, intended to provide users with much faster data speeds than 3G is able to.
With Apple's new product, the speculation is that the new type of smartwatch will be available later in 2017. Given that Apple, who launched its 'Watch' in 2015, has never shared any sales figures, some technology commentators are speculating that the move to a more universal format is to off-set lower than expected sales with consumers and businesses for its smartwatch product. While the Apple Watch has undoubtedly sold, smartwatches in general have lagged behind other digital wearable devices, like the Fitbit.
The BBC's technology reporter Dave Lee picks on another reason for the move to a universal format. By untethering the Apple Watch from the iPhone this would open up a range of new functionality, including allowing users to download songs on the move, without having to carry their smartphone. This is something likely to broaden appeal.
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