Apple has applied for the “iWatch” trademark in Japan following months of speculation that has claimed the company will launch its first smartwatch later this year. According to the June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office, which was spotted by Bloomberg, the iWatch name will cover products including “a handheld computer or watch device.”
Recent reports have claimed that Apple has over 100 designers working on the iWatch, which is expected to get its grand unveiling alongside new iOS devices this fall. It’s thought the device will connect to the iPhone and iPad via Bluetooth, then allow you to view notifications, control your music, and interact with certain apps on your wrist.
Apple has remained quiet about the device so far — as you might expect from the world’s most secretive company — but CEO Tim Cook did acknowledge a great opportunity in wearables during an interview at D11 back in May. Along with several patents, this iWatch trademark is the best evidence we’ve seen of the device so far.
Of course, Apple could have trademarked the name simply to prevent others using it. With Samsung, Google, LG, and others also expected to launch smartwatches this year, Apple will want to ensure that a name it has been associated with for so long isn’t snapped up by a competitor.