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The new Apple Watch will still be tethered to the iPhone, report says

An Apple Watch is displayed inside an Apple store in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An Apple Watch is displayed inside an Apple store in San Francisco.

The next version of the Apple Watch — expected to be unveiled this fall — will still need to be connected to an iPhone, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

Since the launch of the Apple Watch, analysts, users and network carriers have clamored for Apple to untether the device from its smartphone. Right now, the Watch must be synched with a handset in order to deliver cloud-based services, like streaming music and messaging.

The updated Apple Watch CEO Tim Cook will unveil likely next month will integrate GPS-based location tracking, Gurman reported, citing sources who declined to be identified because the details are not public.

"Apple declines to comment on rumor or speculation," an Apple spokesperson told CNBC.

The company has been unable to make the drastic changes necessary to connect its Watch to cellular networks, Bloomberg reported.

"The roadmap on the watch is going to be a difficult roadmap, but ultimately we think that the watch will be decoupled with your phone," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told CNBC.

"Some of the biggest limitations about decoupling are the battery and the antenna," he said.

The problem is the small size of the Apple Watch, said Munster. This makes it harder to embed an antenna inside than an iPhone, he said.

"That's a headwind to getting the watch to connect," he said. "Apple is working through some of those problems now, and that's why it's going to take a year or two for the watch to be decoupled from the iPhone."

With reporting from CNBC's Josh Lipton and Megan Hawkins