Tuesday, February 12, 2013
AFTER iPAD, NEXT iWATCH ??
There’ve been plenty of reports over recent years suggesting Apple is looking at the idea of some kind of high-tech wristwatch and with its well-financed R&D department sniffing around for new ideas for the next big thing, it’s quite possible several prototypes have already come and gone.
Over the weekend, a New York Times report has got the iWatch rumor mill churning again, with unnamed “people familiar with the company’s explorations” telling the publication’s tech columnist Nick Bilton that the Cupertino company is “experimenting with wristwatch-like devices” running iOS and made of curved glass.
The Wall Street Journal, too, claimed in a report over the weekend that Apple has been working on “designs for a watch-like device that would perform some functions of a smartphone”.
Citing “people briefed on the effort” as its source – of course, unnamed – the WSJ’s piece says Apple has been in talks with Foxconn, the principle manufacturer of Apple’s iDevices. According to the WSJ, Taiwan-based Foxconn has been working on technology geared towards wearable gadgets for some time, including the development of more power-efficient displays.
Besides the select few inside the walls of Apple’s highly secretive R&D facility, no one knows for sure what kind of iWatch, if any, the company is working on, whether it’s a device with limited functionality that communicates with the iPhone or a stand-alone all-singing all-dancing gadget capable of doing stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.
Of course, the smartwatch market already exists, with the recently launched Pebble watch and Sony’s SmartWatch two examples of such a device, so it makes perfect sense for Apple to look into the possibility of its own iWatch product.
As with the smartphone and tablet before, Apple may well be experimenting with a range of wearable tech while watching the developing market from the sidelines before stepping in with a product that it hopes will wow consumers and sweep the competition aside.
Of course, the iPhone maker has given no indication as to whether or not it’s experimenting with a so-called iWatch, and even if it is, it’s likely to be some time before we actually see anyone wearing such a device.
By Trevor Mogg