It is just days into 2017, and rumors have already surfaced about when the next series of the Apple Watch is expected to launch.
A Chinese-language Economic Daily News report seen by DigiTimes reported that the next-generation smartwatch — the Apple Watch Series 3 — could land in the hands of consumers as early as this fall. According to the report, the latest series of the watch will be manufactured by Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, with the goal of improving the device’s battery efficiency.
While Quanta declined to comment on what it described as market speculation, the paper also stated that the remaining hardware of the phone is not expected to see much change.
Business Insider said it’s worth noting that DigiTimes isn’t always to most accurate with the rumors and predictions it reports on Apple, but if the new smartwatch does arrive in autumn, it will be nearly a year since the Series 2 was released in September 2016. This could suggest an annual release cycle for the wearable device.
Last month, Apple rolled out new functionality for the Apple Watch. The latest version of the Apple Store app for Apple Watch now allows wearers to make purchases right from their smartwatches.
As of December 2016, purchases Apple Watch users can make were limited to lower-priced items (meaning this excludes iMacs and most other Apple devices) and accessories that they had previously favorited on the Apple Store’s app for iPhone and iPad.
Though it’s certainly a new bit of convenience for Apple’s biggest fans, it might not be the sort of development that will influence sales much.
The smartwatch market cooled down considerably in the second half of 2016 — declining by 52 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Total smartwatch volumes reached 2.7 million units shipped in Q3, compared to the 5.6 million units shipped in the third quarter of last year.