Apple Watch 2 set to have FaceTime camera, iPhone-free data use

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Apple reportedly plans to have a camera built into the second-gen Apple Watch‘s front bezel to let users make and receive FaceTime video calls, one may read at 9to5 Mac’s latest iScoop. The recently-unveiled watch OS 2.0, which will launch this fall, allows users to answer FaceTime Audio calls from the Apple Watch, as well as route FaceTime video calls to either be answered on an iPhone or rejected.

The device will also reportedly be able to receive texts, e-mails, and other data solely through its Wi-Fi radio. The current Apple Watch requires Bluetooth or Wi-Fi pairing with an iPhone.The battery is expected to be similar to the current Watch’s, with Apple turning to “more advanced hardware features” to improve battery life.

While reviewers have been critical of battery life, Apple’s research indicates “average consumers finish each day with between 30% and 40% charge remaining on their Apple Watches. Apple has officially estimated the Watch’s battery lasts 18 hours under “typical” use.

In addition, Apple is reportedly exploring a wider portfolio of Apple Watch models beyond today’s Sport, Steel, and Edition tiers, while “looking at ways to attract customers at price points between $1,000 and $10,000.” In-line with Apple’s traditional upgrade cycles, the second-gen Watch is deemed “most likely” to arrive in 2016.

Separately, research firm Slice (relying on e-commerce receipts) estimates U.S. Watch sales totaled 2.79M as of mid-June, up moderately from an estimated ~2.5M as of May 18. The Apple Watch Sport (starts at $349) is believed to be the most popular model, and an estimated 17% of owners bought more than one (high-margin) band.

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