The new iPhone models were the focus of the Sept. 12 Apple event, but it also starred the latest version of the company’s smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 3.
The Apple Watch Series 3, which comes with several significant improvements compared to its predecessor, will start preorders on Sept. 15 and will release on Sept. 22.
Apple Watch Series 3: No iPhone Required
One of the major changes with the Apple Watch Series 3 compared to previous versions of the smartwatch is that one of its models comes with built-in cellular, dropping the limitation that it needs to be paired with an iPhone at all times to make the most out of the device.
In a press release, Apple noted that the 4G LTE capabilities of the new Apple Watch will allow users to stay connected even without an iPhone nearby. The device, in combination with the upcoming watchOS 4, will soon allow users to stream Apple Music, receive text messages, and initiate calls entirely through the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 3, however, will not use a regular SIM card, but rather a built-in one known as the eSIM. The device is actually the first mass market consumer device to feature the technology, and it allows Apple to do away with many components that a traditional SIM card would need. The eSim will be provisioned through the device itself, making it easy to switch between supported carriers but impossible to sign up with one unsupported by Apple.
Cellular capabilities are not the only selling point of the new Apple Watch. Compared to its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 3 features a 70 percent faster dual core processor and barometric altimeter. It is also waterproof, and has improved power efficiency.
The cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3, which will have 16 GB of internal storage, will carry a price tag of $399, while the non-cellular version will have 8 GB of internal storage and be sold for $329.
Apple Watch Renews Focus On Health
Continuing Apple’s renewed focus on health for the Apple Watch, Apple is teaming up with Stanford University and telemedicine company American Well to test the Apple Watch Series 3 in detecting abnormal heart rhythms and diagnosing possible heart problems. The capability will be made possible by the revamped heart rate monitor that will also be included in the Apple Watch Series 3.
A report from last month, meanwhile, claimed that Apple and Aetna were in discussion on possibly bringing the Apple Watch to the latter’s 23 million members.