Apple is gearing up to release a new Apple Watch which will not require tethering to an iPhone for key functions like calls, making it a standalone device, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNBC.
The U.S. tech giant will launch the next generation Apple Watch in September, the source said, when it is also expected to take the wraps off three new iPhone models.
Apple Watch has always been required to be linked to an iPhone in order to receive texts or make calls. But the next generation version will have cellular connectivity, likely via an embedded SIM rather than physical SIM card users will have to put in.
Adding cellular connectivity will allow people to carry out tasks such as streaming music without the need for an iPhone present.
A September unveiling also makes sense because Apple has already announced plans to release watchOS 4 — its wearable operating system — in the fall. This will include new features around music as well as a Siri-based watchface, both of which would benefit from standalone watch capabilities.