Apple is said to be designing its own wearable computer in the form of a Bluetooth smartwatch in joint partnership with Intel.
According to a report coming from Chinese blog Tech163.com, two sources in the 'supply chain' claim that Apple is building a smart wristwatch equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology — capable of connecting to other iOS devices.
Bluetooth 4.0 single-mode chips will draw less power and be used in “proximity, Internet connected devices, consumer healthcare devices, sports and fitness products, watches, smart energy and home automation devices, and remote controls.” according to an eWeek report back in July.
Apple's smartwatch is said to be sporting a 1.5-inch OLED screen with the ability to connect to an iPhone, enabling users to perform multiple tasks, review text messages and most notably make phone calls.
“The Apple smartwatch could find its way to the market in the first half of 2013 and sport a 1.5-inch OLED display with indium tin oxide, aka ITO-coated glass, made by Taiwanese PMOLED panel manufacturer RiTdisplay.” Source: The Next Web
When Allerta launched their own e-paper smartwatch The Pebble via Kickstarter back in April, the campaign hauled in over $10 million from some 69,000 backers — becoming the highest-grossing Kickstarter campaign overnight.
Anxious backers desperately wanted a wristwatch capable of controlling music playback, monitor running or cycling stats along with receiving incoming caller notifications, Facebook messages, email notifications and calendar alerts from their iOS and Android smartphones.
While the fervor of interest exposed the rabid market demand for such an iPhone-friendly product — Allerta has gotten bogged down in Asia with severe production delays, completely missing their September launch deadline with no new delivery date currently on the table.
As iWatch rumors swirl, the company just announced that The Pebble has received FCC approval, attempting to convince backers their product is not just vaporware.
Apple could ultimately overshadow broader adoption of The Pebble should the company decide to launch an Apple-branded smartwatch early into 2013 as sources have indicated.
Although an Apple smartwatch is still being called a rumor, the idea has a much greater probability of making it into the market as Tim Cook continues to battle behind the scenes to secure content deals with major television networks in order for iTV to become a reality.
Apple may ultimately lead the charge in wearable computing and forever change the way we look at time — with a secret iWatch launch event coming sooner than later next year.
An Apple smartwatch may be the right idea at the right time (pun intended) — especially since the company is reportedly preparing to launch their own Pandora competitor in 2013. How useful would that be on a wristwatch?
I'm convinced this rumor is not just another "if" — it's simply a matter of when.
iWatch concept (pictured at top and below) by Antonio DeRosa