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'Apple Watch 2' with GPS, barometer, better waterproofing, more to launch in 2H of 2016

Apple is planning to release two Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, one a minor update over existing models and an "Apple Watch 2" with GPS, barometer and more, according to one connected insider.




Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note to investors on Sunday, obtained by AppleInsider, detailed Apple's wearable timeline for the coming six months.

Kuo believes Apple is planning to launch two new Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, both of which offer moderate improvements over their predecessor. The first unit will be an iterative upgrade on the original Apple Watch and is expected to sport the same aesthetics, but with improved intervals like a TSMC processor built on the 16nm process. Waterproofing should also be slightly improved.

A second version, dubbed "Apple Watch 2," is also expected to share the same general design as current models, but will include a GPS radio and barometer for improved geolocation capabilities. A higher capacity battery will be included to power the advanced components, but its size will prohibit Apple's usual generational device slimming.

Looking ahead, Kuo doesn't expect Apple to change its wearable form factor in 2017, a year that will most likely bring LTE support for standalone cellphone and data functionality. More radical design changes should arrive in 2018 alongside improved health applications and potentially FDA approval.

With two device introductions in the offing, Kuo is raising his fiscal 2016 shipment predictions to between 10 million and 11 million units, up from between 7 million and 7.5 million.