Apple Reportedly Unveiling Next-Gen Apple Watch 2 in March

The updated smartwatch would ship in April, according to reports. Also possible at the event is the launch of a 4-inch iPhone 6c.

Apple Watch, Apple Watch 2, smartwatches, iPhone 6c, smartphones, FaceTime, HD video camera, wearables

Apple is reportedly preparing to unveil its second-generation Apple Watch 2 smartwatch at a special launch event in March. The company could also announce the arrival of its rumored iPhone 6c, which reportedly will have a 4-inch display.

Both devices have been the topics of rumors for months and are now being targeted for the March launch event, according to a Dec. 8 story by PocketNow.

The next-generation Apple Watch 2 will reportedly be the highlight of the March launch event, but the iPhone 6c, which was the source of fresh rumors earlier in December, could also potentially be unveiled, the article said. The smaller, entry-level basic iPhone 6c reportedly would replace Apple's dated iPhone 5s in early 2016, according to speculation about the company's next handset. The phone would be equipped with Apple's latest A9 processor, which is more powerful than the A8 processor in the iPhone 5s. The smaller handset would be aimed at users who prefer a smaller, less-expensive smartphone.

The original Apple Watch (pictured) went on sale April 24, and within only a few months, rumors began circulating about updates and improvements that would come in a later version, according to earlier eWEEK reports.

Among the rumors for a second-generation Apple Watch 2 smartwatch are a built-in FaceTime video camera, more independence from accompanying iPhones and additional models at varying price levels.

The reports focused on an HD video camera being integrated into the front of the watch, as well as the ability for wearers to receive and send texts, emails or app updates without having to be tethered to an accompanying iPhone, as the original watch requires. The front video camera would allow Watch wearers to video conference with other users.

The increased iPhone independence would be made possible due to a new WiFi-enabled chipset, which will also offer a "find my watch" feature. Apple also is likely working on power and battery tweaks so that new features don't cause the existing battery pack to run down more quickly.

Other rumors about a next-gen Apple Watch indicated that the company is looking at the creation of additional watch models priced between its cheapest devices ($249) and its midrange watches ($549), according to reports.

Part of the impetus for the Apple Watch 2 rumors earlier this summer were Apple's announcements at its June Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) about a coming redesigned operating system for the current device. The new watchOS 2 software, released this fall, brought new features and options as well as new tools to allow developers to add more future functions.

The updated watchOS 2 software gives developers the ability to build faster, more powerful apps running natively on the Apple Watch, while also offering new watch faces and new communications capabilities in the device's Mail, Friends and Digital Touch apps.

First-generation Apple Watches start at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport version, which is available with a silver or space-gray aluminum body and with wristbands in many colors. The standard Apple Watch starts at $549 for a 38mm-wide version or $599 for a 42mm-wide model. Prices for the 38mm version can rise to $1,049, while prices for the 42mm model can go up to $1,099, depending on the watchband selected. The regular Apple Watch can be purchased with a fluoroelastomer band or one of three different leather bands.

The company's luxury version of Apple Watch is the Apple Watch Edition, with a price tag of $10,000. The most expensive version of Apple Watch, the 18-karat gold Edition version, is priced at $17,000.