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Apple Leak Confirms Cellular Connection for Next Apple Watch

It looks increasingly certain that the next Apple Watch will have its own cellular connection.

Apple (AAPL) watchers have been busy all weekend digging through a leak of the iOS 11 code, rumored to have been released by a disgruntled employee. Among the plethora of spoilers ahead of Apple’s official September 12 press event, the trusted analysts at 9to5Mac have uncovered very strong evidence that the new Apple Watch will have LTE connectivity.

The feature has been heavily rumored for months, but these are the first hints that come more or less directly from Apple.

Some of the evidence is cosmetic. A Watch screenshot, found in the leaked OS, shows what 9to5 Mac says is a “cellular signal indicator.”

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Other hints show up in an image of the new watch in the leaked version of the Watch app. Those include a red mark on the watch’s rotary crown, which 9to5Mac interprets as a sign of an LTE antenna. The new Watch interface also includes phone and GPS icons, which suggests the new Watch will be able to make calls independently of an iPhone.

But the clearest proof is found deep in the iOS11 code: 9to5Mac has found that the Apple Watch will use the same phone number as a user’s iPhone. There are also prompts guiding a new Watch user through “cellular plan activation,” and even evidence that some carriers will offer promotional pricing for adding LTE Watch service to a cellular plan.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.