It's fair to say that, after years of waiting for the thing, the Apple Watch launched last year to a muted response. It had its fans, but with estimates that only 12 million were sold in its first year on sale (a decent number by wearable standards, but nothing compared to the numbers Apple's mobile products normally manage), it was a relatively poor harvest in Cupertino.
Apple now turns its attentions to the Apple Watch 2. And, for those few still interested, it seems the company is at least looking to make good on the failings of its predecessor.
Related: One Week Living With the Apple Watch
According to usually-pretty-well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple Watch 2 will look almost identical to the first timepiece in terms of its size and overall thickness, but will come packing in some much-needed and oft-requested new features.
Key among these will be the inclusion of a GPS tracker. With the Apple Watch at its best as a fitness device, it'll allow for untethered runs, free from a phone jostling in your pocket should you want to track a route and distance accurately. A barometer will be onboard for elevation, while a more efficient TSMC chip should keep things from slowing down when an iPhone isn't available to do the heavy lifting.
That TSMC chip has been shrunk down in size too, leaving more room for a larger battery, apparently. The first Apple Watch was very much an overnight charger, squeezing a day's worth of use out but not much more. Could the next Apple smartwatch stretch to two days of play?
Kuo is pointing to a release before the end of the year, which will likely see the Apple Watch debut alongside the iPhone 7, itself expected to come from behind the curtain around September 7th. Interestingly, he's anticipating two Apple watch launches – the one detailed above, and another with the speedier processor that drops the GPS and barometer in favour of a lower price. Perhaps a sub-£200 price tag could pique the interest of the lapsed Apple faithful? [MacRumors]