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An Apple Watch with its own cellular connection might arrive this year

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Scott Moritz, and Ian King have quite a scoop: They report that Apple plans to release a version of its Apple Watch sporting a built-in LTE wireless connection by the end of 2017, using a modem chip supplied by Intel. That would allow the smart watch to connect directly to the internet–for song downloading, notifications, and other purposes–rather than requiring an iPhone to be in close proximity to serve as middleman.

It’s been obvious all along that the Apple Watch getting LTE would be an important step toward it becoming a truly independent computing device rather than a mere iPhone accessory. Companies such as Samsung have already introduced LTE-ready smart watches, but the challenge of implementing the technology in a compact package with decent battery life are such that I would have guessed an LTE Apple Watch was a couple of years off. I will be delighted if Apple’s fall announcements prove me wrong.

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