Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) possible plans for an Apple Watch that connects directly to cellular networks would be a boon to cellular carriers and a disaster for rival smartwatch makers.
Bloomberg reported Friday that, while current Apple Watches require wireless connection to an iPhone in range, the company plans to release a smartwatch later this year featuring LTE chips that can perform the tasks iPhone-free.
While Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales numbers and the business is relatively insignificant, Bloomberg noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook described it as the best-selling smartwatch "by a very wide margin," with sales up 50% in the third quarter.
It's good news for shareholders of new Apple modem supplier Intel Corp. (INTC) , which Bloomberg said is supplying the LTE modems for the new Watch. They're supplanting Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) , which sued Apple last month over alleged iPhone patent infringement, the latest in dueling lawsuits between the two companies.
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