Mar 04, 2017 01:14 PM EST
Apple Watch 3 Expected In September; Riding High On Soaring Apple Watch Sales In Q4 2016
Reports from Taiwan reveal production is in full swing and the Apple Watch 3 is expected to go on sale by September after an Autumn unveiling. Apple watches are gaining popularity as the latest IDC numbers show Apple gaining a foothold in the wearables market in the last quarter of 2016 while Fitbit suffered a substantial decline.
There have been various reports, patent leaks and rumors surrounding the Apple Watch 3 following the success of the earlier models. Tim Cook has already dismissed reports that the Apple wearables are suffering from poor sales. In fact, Apple watches remain a top seller among other Android Wear smartwatches launched by Google. The latest report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes reveals that manufacturing of the screen has already started for a second half shipping.
The Apple Watch 3 is believed to have been delayed by the difficult task of manufacturing the touch-on-lens screen used in the Series 2 as experienced by TPK Holding. Hence, the latest smartwatch from Cupertino will instead have the glass film touchscreen, which will be covered by a heavy duty and scratch resistant film laminate to be contracted to other partners. However, the assembly of the smartwatches will still remain with the Taiwan-based Qanta as reported by a Chinese Economic Daily News website.
Though the Apple Watch 3 is expected to go on sale in September just like its predecessor a year ago, Apple may release an "S" model this month with more storage possibly 4 or 8GB as speculated by PC Advisor. The new Apple Watch may keep the same design albeit a much-improved battery life and a micro-LED screen to add more days between charges. Like its predecessors, it is expected to come in all flavors with varying models, colors, and straps as well as two different sizes for a wider spectrum of users.
Other reports on the third-generation wearable are taken from a number of leaked patents starting from a modular watch strap with embedded battery acting as a mobile power bank. Incidentally, the patent shows a circular face, which may just be to show how the new feature works and Apple will still opt for the square shaped display. The other patents reveal that the new Apple Watch 3 may have a selfie camera, a magnetic wristband, and multi-functional straps that may be removed so that users may have options on what features to add like a GPS, Camera or battery.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 3's imminent launch comes at a good time when Apple smartwatches have seen increased sales at the end of 2016. The IDC's 2016 wearable sales cover fitness trackers and smartwatches with Apple garnering the third spot with a 13 percent increase or over 4.6 million units sold. Fitbit is still in the top spot but suffered a 22.7 percent drop in sales with just 6.5 million units sold. It is Xiaomi's cheaper wearables with fitness tracking feature that took the second spot with a whopping 96.2 percent increase in sales or 5.2 million units sold as reported by Investorplace.