It’s not just the much anticpated iPhone 7 that has got the Apple rumour-mongers in a tizzy this year.
Apple Watch 2 gossip is flying and as 2016 gets going, what we can expect is becoming clearer by the day.
There’s chatter abroad about new features, release dates and production plans, with Apple clearly hoping that it can work its magic and make the second–generation smartwatch a huge hit.
Here are five things we know so far about the Apple Watch 2...
1 Production is go
Reports from China claim that Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta will begin trial production of the Apple Watch 2 later this month.
Quanta makes the current Apple Watch and, as such, is well–placed to work on the second-gen model.
It’s believed that other partners, including Foxconn, will also help produce the Apple Watch 2, as Apple looks to hedge its bets and ensure supply problems are kept to a minimum.
2 March launch. Or maybe September
According to a range of sources, Apple is plotting a March event where it will show off a string of new products.
With production underway this month, the Apple Watch 2 is likely to be among the new kit on show.
March also marks a year since the Apple Watch was first revealed.
One Qunata exec claims the smartwatch won’t actually be released until the second quarter of the year, meaning Apple is likely to trail the device heavily before making it available to the public.
However, since then other industry insiders have come out of the woodwork and predicted Apple's March event will only bring us a slightly tweaked version of the existing Apple Watch. And that the Apple Watch 2 won't be along until much later in the year.
3 Healthier focus
Apple’s Health apps for the iPhone and its smartwatch have not exactly set the world alight.
But it’s thought that the Apple Watch 2 will see a greater focus on health-tracking, after the company hired new staff to work on fitness features in its devices.
More sensors are likely to be added to the smartwatch, with improved analysis of vital signs.
The boom in cheaper fitness wearables means Apple is likely to double down on its health offering as it looks to ward off competition from the likes of FitBit.
4 FaceTime camera
Being able to make FaceTime calls from your wrist might seem like something with pretty niche appeal, but it’s a feature Apple is reportedly keen to add to the Apple Watch 2.
Reports have consistently pointed towards the addition of a camera to the top of the smartwatch, allowing users to make and take calls without having to pull out a paired iPhone.
Annoying in public? You bet. But handy when you’re in private and can’t reach your handset? Definitely.
5 Wi–Fi improvements
The Apple Watch’s reliance customers pairing it with their iPhones makes it less impressive than rival devices.
However, Apple is said to be looking to add a new Wi–Fi chip to make the device more independent.
That means it should be able to send texts and emails without having to hook the device up to your smartphone.
It’s a much–needed function and one which could make the Apple Watch 2 more compelling than its predecessor.