16 August, 2017
A Bloomberg report had reported earlier in this month that the third-generation Apple Watch would be arriving with support for LTE connectivity.
Aetna already teamed up with Apple in the past to provide each of its 50,000 employees with a free Apple Watch as part of the company's wellness program.
The secret meetings took place in Southern California on Thursday and Friday, according to three people connected to the matter. The talks involve executives as well as chief medical information officers from hospitals around the US. It was also reported that Aetna was looking to subsidize the cost of the health-focused smartwatch for its customers, a plan that is apparently moving full speed ahead.
"If you don't have an iPhone today, the Apple watch is probably not going to be in your consideration set", said Jeff Orr of ABI Research.
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Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment and Aetna declined to comment on the record.
Aetna now reportedly has ambitions to offer it to a wider field - adding large swaths of new health data to pull from and giving the health insurance company insight into the activities of its customers.
On Monday, Apple shares closed up 1.5% at $159.85. Major cellular operators of the US will be providing add-on cellular service to the upcoming LTE-enabled Apple Watch 3.
Kuo didn't give out a specific release date for the new Apple Watch, but previous rumors claim that it might be announced alongside the new iPhones this September.