Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland believes Apple’s third-generation Apple Watch may introduce cellular connectivity, a feature that’s been long rumoured for the device.

Rolland suggests the 2017 Apple Watch will include a SIM card for connected data and that the next-generation device will be promoted alongside the AirPods.

Few smartwatches have been able to bundle connectivity into their devices due to the impact on battery life, and it is only in the 2nd generation devices that Apple was able to get GPS included without a big hit on  battery. The watch always checks for iPhone connectivity first, and uses GPS from the phone if available, and its a sure bet data connectivity will always come after Wifi and tethering from an iPhone have been ruled out first.

We understand a model of the next Apple watch will include a SIM card, and therefore is likely to support LTE. We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made. Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life.

Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods (now on back order till May) to make and receive phone calls (perhaps a small win for Maxim with amps in each ear bud). Positive QCOM, MXIM.

Runners in particular would welcome the ability to leave their phone at home, and be able to stream music on demand, and make phone calls in an emergency.

While still relatively small in size, other welcome improvements to the third generation watch would be to make it slightly slimmer on the wrist.

Via Barron’s