Despite an onslaught of hype, excitement and intrigue, when Tim Cook finally unveiled the original Apple Watch a few years ago, there was a bit of a let down. The device was compelling, to be sure, but there’s no denying that the first iteration of the Apple Watch was plagued by a clunky UI along with some minor, and yet frustrating, performance issues.
Since its initial release, however, Apple has steadily improved its beloved wearable by leaps and bounds. With the addition of new bands, GPS, more capable hardware, and a vastly more intuitive user interface, the Apple Watch today is more popular than ever. Though Apple still refuses to release concrete sales data for the Apple Watch, but a recent report from Strategy Analytics claims that cumulative sales have now surpassed the 31 million mark.
Looking ahead, rumor has it that a revamped version of the Apple Watch will see some major enhancements later this year. In a planned refresh that will presumably hit store shelves before the busy holiday shopping season, Apple is reportedly working on adding LTE connectivity to its next-gen Apple Watch. This would obviously be a welcome addition as it would allow the Apple Watch to stand on its own two feet without having to constantly rely on having a paired iPhone nearby.
Equally as intriguing, John Gruber of Daring Fireball recently suggested that the next-gen Apple Watch may feature an entirely new form factor.
“It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this could be,” Gruber said in reference to the aforementioned Apple Watch-LTE rumor. “No mention in Businessweek’s report, though, of the all-new form factor that I’ve heard is coming for this year’s new watches.”
While Gruber qualified this statement by saying that it came from an “unconfirmed little birdie”, Gruber tends to have a pretty solid track record when it comes to Apple rumors. Additionally, reputed analyst Ming Chi-Kuo issued a research report last year claiming that Apple Watch Series 3 would introduce a new form factor.
As for other features the next-gen Apple Watch might bring to the table, there are reports that the device will feature improved battery life and micro-LED display technology. As we’ve highlighted previously, micro-LED displays aim to deliver improved performance in bright light environments and are even said to be more energy efficient that OLED displays.