Shipments of the Apple Watch are expected to rise 33% in 2018 to hit 20 million units
The third series Apple Watch, which is rumored to be a stand alone model with an eSIM card and an LTE radio built in, could be introduced next month at the same time as the 2017 Apple iPhone models. According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the new version of Apple's wearable device won't be able to make or take stand alone phone calls immediately following its launch. Kuo says that Apple will have to improve the "user experience of data transmission" on the timepiece before it handles calls on its own. That won't take place until sometime next year, Kuo predicts.
The stand alone features on the Apple Watch Series 3, when enabled, should help Apple ship more timepieces. A deal that Apple and insurance company Aetna are reportedly discussing to sell subsidized Apple Watch units to Aetna policy holders, could also lead to a bump in sales if both sides sign on the dotted line. Quanta Computer, which exclusively manufactured the Apple Watch up until now, is expected to share 20% to 30% of Series 3 production with Compal Electronics.