Apple today unveiled a new, third generation Apple Watch with built-in cellular support along with news that the Apple Watch is now the "number one watch" in the world during an Apple Special Event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California this afternoon.
The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular will cost $399 and a version without cellular will run you $329 when they hit on September 22nd. Orders open up on September 15th.
The Apple Watch Series 3 retains the same-sized curved rectangular shape of the original, but will now include a built in LTE antenna and a red dot on its digital crown. It's slightly thicker though. According to Apple, it's about two sheets of paper thicker than the Series 2 watches.
The LTE-support means that the new watch would be able to update internet-enabled apps and even function as a phone when not connected to your iPhone. (Similar to the functionality of a number of Android smartwatches already on the market.) Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) features a full LTE and UMTS cellular radio that switches seamlessly to cellular when it is away from iPhone. Customers have the ability to make cellular calls directly with Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) and, when paired with AirPods, enjoy a seamless and fully wireless experience. The watch face also serves as an antenna for the device, which makes use of an eSim card, rather than a physical SIM card for cell use.
The watch will use the same phone number as your iPhone and can be used to stream Apple Music with more than 40 million songs available. The watch features a new dual-core processor, which will also allow Siri to talk back when you ask her questions. The watch will also support a new W2 chip for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and now includes an altimeter.
The watch itself comes in silver, space gray aluminum and gold aluminum, along with silver or space black stainless steel cases. New bands include an updated Woven Nylon band with a new pattern and a Sport Loop. Apple Watch Hermès models come with built-in cellular and pair with a collection of new bands, including the Single Tour Rallye, in perforated Gala calfskin, inspired by the classic Hermès driving glove, and the Single Tour Eperon d’Or, in printed Gala calfskin, inspired by the equestrian scarf pattern designed by Henri d’Origny in 1974. A new watch face, inspired by the Carrick Hermès watch, also designed by Henri d’Origny in 1993, completes the existing selection of Hermès watch faces.
In the lead up to announcing the new watch, Apple discussed some of the software updates coming to the Apple line of watches as WatchOS 4 which hits on September 19th. Those updates include better fitness tracking, heart rate tracking and more. The new Heart Rate app now can take measurements during resting, workout, recovery, walking and Breathe sessions. Users can also choose to receive a notification when their heart rate is elevated above a specific threshold while inactive. A new Siri Watch Face comes with WatchOS 4 which Apple says will automatically display the information users need most throughout the day. Finally, the new WatchOS will add GymKit support which means the watch will be able to connect to supported cardio equipment for two-way synchronization of data with a tap.
“We believe the addition of cellular will transform the way people use Apple Watch, providing a new sense of freedom since they can stay connected with or without their iPhone,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. “Apple Watch Series 3 combined with the power of watchOS 4 is the ultimate device for a healthy life.”