Multiple Sources Claim an Apple “iWatch” Is On The Way

| Rumor

Apple iWatch

Rumors of a forthcoming Apple “iWatch” exploded over the weekend, fueled by separate reports from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino iDevice maker is already testing prototypes of its next big iPhone accessory. Sources speaking with both outlets report that the rumored device will run a version of iOS that integrates closely with the iPhone.

From The New York Times report:

In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.

Rumored features of the “iWatch” include Siri integration, calendar and email alerts, app notifications, caller ID, map navigation, and mobile payment support. It is speculated that Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning could supply the glass for the device based on its new bendable “Willow Glass.”

After hiring many individuals who specialize in sensors and other elements crucial to wearable computers, Apple is reportedly already in discussions with Hon Hai Precision, the parent company of Apple supplier Foxconn, on the manufacturing techniques required to produce the device.

The introduction of an Apple-produced iWatch has the potential to alter the future of mobile computing, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Mr. Munster stated in a January report that wearable computers, such as the rumored iWatch or Google’s Glasses concept, could eventually “replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet,” drastically altering the cost and size of future devices and allowing Apple to target both developed and emerging markets.

Although an eventual Apple iWatch will likely be novel in some respects, other companies have already seen the potential of smart watches that integrate with mobile devices. Kickstarter hero Pebble has just launched its first product, the Pebble Smartwatch, which uses Bluetooth to display information transmitted from a user’s smartphone.

The battle for wearable computing platforms will also reach users’ eyes through the efforts of the aforementioned Google Glass concept and other projects such as the MEG from Olympus. While early prototypes of smart glasses promise more functionality than smart watches, the more invasive nature of glasses may make watches a likely next step in the evolution of wearable computers, and Apple already has an advantage in that area thanks to third-party contributors to its ecosystem.

“Apple is already in the wearable space through its ecosystem partners that make accessories that connect to the iPhone. This makes Apple potentially the biggest player of the wearables market in a sort of invisible way,” Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps told The New York Times.

Although sources promised no timetable, the immaturity of bendable glass and the required improvements in battery life lend support to the notion that an Apple iWatch is still at least a year away. The founders of firms like Pebble are surely grateful for the lead time.

Teaser Graphic via Brett Jordan, Flickr.

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Comments

Loyal Apple Follower

Hooray for child labor! Just what debt-ridden America needs, more superfluous technology that barely improves quality of life and often distracts to the point that people in the same room don’t pay attention to each other. I look forward to buying this iWatch and soon feeling that it is a worthless piece of crap compared to the iWatch 2, then 3, 4, 5,... because although everyone who designs for Apple is one of the “best and brightest”, game-changing, paradigm-shifting super-geniuses, they just can’t seem to get everything right on the first model, or the second, or the third…But that’s ok, because no matter the quality of this watch, I will feel superior to people who don’t own them, and no design flaws, immoral manufacturing conditions, or existence of better alternatives can take that away from me.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I am amazed how so few articles about wearables mention WIMM. They shipped a developer version of their watch with a dual-mode 160x160 pixel color/BW display. Ran Android 2.2. Battery life was a long day. Displayed incoming calls and texts, ran apps. I wrote several themed watchfaces for it, and was a winner of their first developer contest for one of the themed watchfaces.

WIMM went back into secret mode over the summer. They had significant backing from Foxconn. I’ve kept track of some key players and haven’t seen their employment history updated. My wild ass guess semi-educated guess is that they are Apple’s watch team. Note that Munster, Wu, and the rest of the dart throwers won’t even think of the connection. Must credit Bosco.

Flirty_PC_Girl

Just what I need… an extremely small, unusable device that tries to runs iOS on a 1” screen.  Just like my already way too small, very hard to see, 3.5” screen iPhone.  Maybe next year Apple will release a 0.5” screen!

RonMacGuy

Bosco, so is it a “wild ass” guess or a “semi-educated” guess?  Can’t be both, can it?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Whatever it is, it far exceeds any knowledge, real or imagined, that you’ve ever contributed here. Oh snap!

RonMacGuy

LOL Bosco, nice attempted insult.  You are showing off to your new buddies, Loyal Apple Follower and Flirty_PC_Girl.

So, you’ve posted that Flash is way cool and Apple is screwing up not supporting it on iDevices, and I say that Flash is crap and is going to die.  Hmm, looks like I win on that one.  I say that iPhone NA smartphone market share will easily remain in the 30%-35% range in 2012 and 2013, and you say it will fall to 10%-15%.  I win again.  I say the iPad is way cool and will sell like hotcakes, and you say it will be “declining and mostly irrelevant” in about a year (from Jan 2011).  I win again.  You say a while back that Johny Ive would leave Apple within a few months, and I disagree.  I win .  You say people should have sold Apple stock years ago at $200 a share or so.  Wrong again.  Tim Cook leaving.  All the moronic lawsuit stuff you act like you know about.  Must I go on?  Wow, you actually are stupid enough to post what you do?!?!?  Idiotic!!  But I love it - keep it coming!!  But remember - Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

RonMacGuy

Oh, and Bosco, since you are tracking my Apple stock investments now, I wanted you to be aware that I bought 10 AAPL Options last week - Strike price $650, expiration Oct 13.  Already doing quite well on them.  I’ll let you know what I make on them when AAPL hits 700!!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’m not tracking anything, Ron. Basically, it’s your word that your not full of beans. Put your account statements online, and then we’ll have real data to work with. #SunshineExposesTheFeldercarb

RonMacGuy

Full of beans?  I simply told you that I bought options, and at what strike price and expiration.  If AAPL jumps to $550 over next month or two, I will probably sell half of them and make some very good money.  And. if AAPL jumps to $650 by Oct 2013, then I’ll be in excellent shape on the other half.  I’m telling you exactly what I am doing right now, literally within a few days of what I’ve done.  No need to post account statements for that.  If Apple stock price doesn’t go up over the next 8 months, you can brag that RonMacGuy threw away a couple thousand dollars of his hard-earned retirement money on a stupid gamble.  You do know how stock options work, right?

Great article about the ‘legs’ of Apple:  http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/13/02/11/apple_tv_imagined_by_steve_jobs_to_be_apples_fourth_leg_now_becomes_its_sixth.html

In 2007, Apple had two legs - $10B Mac business and $10B iPod/iTunes business.  Five years later, Apple now has six legs supporting $156 billion.  Wow.  And you predicted such failure for Apple over the years.  Why is that?  Is it simply resentment of their success?  Or did something personal affect you?  I really am curious why you are so angry at Apple.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I know how making crap up works, because I watched a bunch of clowns do it on the AFB until they got the boot. Whole picture, RonMacGuy. If you’re a real investor who wants to be taken seriously, post your history of trades. Even Munster and Wu are on the hook for that. But age-old advice pretty much applies here. If you’re an individual investor holding individual stocks, you’re at best a sucker, and probably a fool.

RonMacGuy

No clue what you mean by AFB, to be honest.  American Foundation for the Blind?  But frankly, I could care less what you think, except that at one point you said you may track my comments related to my stocks.  So, just thought I’d mention it to you.

Surprised you haven’t commented on my obviously-better-TMO-knowledge-contributions-than-yours.  Actually, I’m not surprised.  Not much you can say about it, obviously.  But I think it pretty much disproves your opening salvo.  So, my work here is done.

Have a wonderful Monday evening!!

ctopher

Lets get back to the Apple Watch shall we?

Look Apple can’t take over the living room. It’s too messy and people want to be passive in it anyway. Apple has already taken what’s available in the living room with their second-screen iPhones and iPads.

So, look around, what else does everybody have that might want to have more of. Where is there a lot of technology with lousy, un-standardized user interface? What product did smart phones almost kill?

The Watch! Kids only wear them as fashion statements, not to tell time (they have their phone for that!) So lets build a watch that’s a phone!

Flirty PC Girl has it exactly right, but with the wrong reaction. I can wear my phone, listen to tunes, get directions, send and receive text messages all with a “watch” and perhaps a bluetooth earpiece. I could even face time like dick tracy.

But I’m probably not going to watch TV or Movies so I still need an iPhone or an iPad.

So yes, it’s another “must have” for the iOS addicted. And there are millions of them.

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