Apple Has Around 100 Product Designers Working On The iWatch [Report]

An iWatch concept

An iWatch concept

Rumors have started to pick up regarding Apple’s foray into wearable technology. Over the weekend, both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is working on an ‘iWatch’ product.

Now a third report on the mysterious device has surfaced, and it speaks to the level of focus Apple is giving the top secret project.

According to Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the computing tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the company’s plans said.

The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. The team’s size suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in its development, said the people.

100+ people is a lot of manpower to put on one project at Apple, and the growing size of the group indicates that the company is concentrating its efforts.

The New York Times previously reported that said device has a curved glass display that is designed to wrap around the human wrist. An iWatch would connect to an iPhone and serve as a mediator for incoming calls, notifications, etc. Siri would also make an excellent addition to an Apple wristwatch, but little is known about the device’s specific features at this time.

Apple has been working on wearable technology for years, and Google is working on its Google Glasses for a slated release of 2014. Apple has been particularly interested in “fitness tracking” in the past, according to today’s report. Tim Cook is currently a member of Nike’s board of directors.

James Foster, an Apple senior director of engineering, and another manager named Achim Pantfoerder are currently heading the development of a “wristwatch-style computer,” according to Bloomberg.

Pebble, a leading innovator in the smartwatch space right now, has said that it’s not scared about Apple entering the market with a product of its own. A recent column in The New York Times practically explained why Apple will make its “first push into this world of wearables” through an iWatch. The wrist is the least intimidating point of entry for consumers to be introduced to wearable technology. It’s at least a lot more subtle than wearing a big pair of goggles on your face.

  • ekim1406

    i think there was an article the other day on here about how nike isn’t planning an app for android to view fuelband stats and then pointed out that tim cook is on the board at nike. in this article you say that they were particularly interested in fitness tracking. this makes me think that nike is holding out because it will be a specific selling feature for the ‘iWatch’ and other apple products i’m sure.

  • ekim1406

    i think there was an article the other day on here about how nike isn’t planning an app for android to view fuelband stats and then pointed out that tim cook is on the board at nike. in this article you say that they were particularly interested in fitness tracking. this makes me think that nike is holding out because it will be a specific selling feature for the ‘iWatch’ and other apple products i’m sure.

  • Steven Quan

    There’s a plethora of reasons not to make an app for Android. First off, it’s an incredibly fractured ecosystem. You’d have to account for many different devices each with their own sets of device drivers and test them all to ensure compatibility.

    Two, even though Android leads Apple in total market share, actual usage of Android devices pales in comparison. According to IBM Analytics, Black Friday 2012 showed iOS sales more than tripled Android sales for the mobile platforms. Look it up. Also, websites like Slickdeals report iOS users double Android users for surfing their website, and iOS app sales are nearly 3 times what Android pulls in on a monthly basis.

    Based on the facts, that you’d have to work much harder just to put out an app for Android, plus the fact that people likely won’t use it, are two pretty damn good reason why there shouldn’t be an app for Android.

  • Norbs

    Meanwhile Samesung has a 4 workers standing by to copy *cough*, I mean reverse engineer it.

    Samsung Galaxy Watch in both 3″ and 5″ !

  • CharilaosMulder

    It would be awesome if this iWatch is the new iPod Nano, being able to interact with iOS devices.

  • dieselmaniac

    I’d consider it if I could make calls with it. Maybe have it link to my iPhone like a Blue tooth ear piece does.

  • Andrew Newsome

    I’d consider it if I could make calls with it. Maybe have it link to my iPhone like a Blue tooth ear piece does.

    I doubt you would ever use it like that

  • jpadhiyar

    So this kind of seals the deal. Now to look for leaked images, Chinese posts and probably speculate about how high the prices will be ;)

  • hanhothi

    Meanwhile Samesung has a 4 workers standing by to copy *cough*, I mean reverse engineer it

    Actually, you have that round the wrong way round, it is Apple following the leaders here, and until an iWatch comes out we will not know how much Apple are doing the copying! Although of course they will try to patent everything and claim it all for themselves as usual.

    There are already a number of such devices on the market. Pebble is well known although only recently released. Then there is I’m Watch, although it apparently plays better with Android (so it seems as it is an Android device itself) and has limited functionality with iOS. There are also problems actually getting one delivered even after the company has taken your money, they look very dodgy frankly. There are several other such devices around too.

    I really do want a wrist device that links with my iPhone and gives me full notifications. I await the announcement of an iWatch eagerly, but let us not forget it is not Apple leading the field, but trailing behind.

  • Norbs
    Meanwhile Samesung has a 4 workers standing by to copy *cough*, I mean reverse engineer it

    Actually, you have that round the wrong way round, it is Apple following the leaders here, and until an iWatch comes out we will not know how much Apple are doing the copying! Although of course they will try to patent everything and claim it all for themselves as usual.

    There are already a number of such devices on the market. Pebble is well known although only recently released. Then there is I’m Watch, although it apparently plays better with Android (so it seems as it is an Android device itself) and has limited functionality with iOS. There are also problems actually getting one delivered even after the company has taken your money, they look very dodgy frankly. There are several other such devices around too.

    I really do want a wrist device that links with my iPhone and gives me full notifications. I await the announcement of an iWatch eagerly, but let us not forget it is not Apple leading the field, but trailing behind.

    I was mainly poking fun on Samsung… if you don’t think they have a history of “galaxy” devices that are a bit too similar to a fruit companies products, then you gotta be a bit delusional.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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