Will Apple have iWatches ready to hit the shelves when it announces the wearable at its rumored event in October? Probably not.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who is undoubtedly the most accurate Apple analyst on the planet, is saying that Apple won’t begin mass production of the iWatch until November. He has also lowered his sales projections considerably because of “complications” Apple has to deal with concerning new materials like sapphire.
Everyone and their brother (if their brother’s Steve Wozniak) is excited about the possibility of Apple’s iWatch — the first bona fide new product line launched under the watch (no pun intended) of Tim Cook.
So far, definitive details about Apple’s debut in the wearables market have been few and far between. Everyone’s banking on a massive winner, but just what do we know — or think we know — about Apple’s first smartwatch? Scroll through the gallery to find out.
The iPhone and iPad are chock-full of sensors, ranging from proximity sensors and accelerometers to magnetometers and ambient light sensors. Next to the iWatch, however, they could end up looking like the dumb mobile phones of a pre-iPhone age. That’s because if you believe the rumors, the iWatch is set to be loaded with more sensors than you can shake a, well, a very-sensor-filled thing at.
A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggests the iPhone will feature a massive 10 different sensors, including one for analyzing sweat. Patents from Apple suggest the company is also set on expanding the functionality of present-generation wrist-worn devices, with research into everything from monitoring users' heart rates to sensors that can work intelligently together to deduce the precise activity a person is doing (for example, combining motion and pulse-rate measurements with location sensors to determine if you’re out for a jog or running on a treadmill). Impressive stuff!
There have been many wearables and quantified-health applications over the past few years, but most have steered clear of proclaiming themselves medical devices. Some of the rumors about the iWatch (such as the fact that it will be able to listen to the sound blood makes as it flows through arteries, and use this to predict heart attacks) may sound a bit too good to be true. But the number of biosensor and biomedical engineers Apple has snapped up recently makes us think the iWatch could be a device that crosses over firmly into the "medical monitoring" category.
According to one recent report, a reason for the long delay before launch is that Apple is awaiting certification from the Food and Drug Administration to get the iWatch approved as medical equipment. Given Apple's recent announcement of the Health app for iOS 8 to collect and show data on calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels and more, plus the conspicuous absence of a health-tracking fitness band in Apple's last iPhone 5s ad, the idea that the iWatch will be geared toward health seems as close to a foregone conclusion as you get for a device that hasn't even been officially announced yet.
Will the iWatch be a full-fledged independent device in its own right, or will it take the Pebble smartwatch approach and basically be a glorified notification system for your phone? Probably a bit of both. The continued convergence of iOS and OS X with features like Continuity means your iWatch is likely to work cohesively with all the other Apple products in the ecosystem.
Apple’s regard for top-notch design means it has always walked the line between tech and aesthetics, but the company’s leap into the world of wearables will be its most high-fashion move yet. Other tech companies, including Samsung, have already trotted out their own smartwatches to beat Apple to market, but even the staunchest supporter of these devices is unlikely to say that they’re Rolex-beaters.
Unlike the iPhone 6, which has seen numerous leaked images over the past few months, we’ve seen very little about the iWatch that doesn’t fall under the heading of wishful thinking. One of the most detailed (and believable) notes came earlier this year from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who claims that Apple will create several different iWatch models in 2014, including an ultra-luxurious model that will retail for several thousands of dollars.
For people with smaller wrists, there will be an iWatch with a 1.3-inch display, while those with thicker wrists will get a 1.5-inch model. Both will boast flexible AMOLED display panels (an Apple first) and hard sapphire crystal glass like many of the luxury watches already available on the market. Other rumors have suggested a 2.5-inch "slightly rectangular" screen, while Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities thinks it’ll be round.
I guess what I’m saying here is pick one idea, state it like you know for sure, and then market your services as an analyst.
Apple has been known to change the names of projects when word about them leaks, but "iWatch" is so much better than alternatives like the iPad-sounding "iBand" that it would be a little surprising if this name didn't make it to market. Apple seems to think the same way, since it’s been snapping up trademarks on the name like crazy for the past year, often under the guise of a shell company.
Re/code says Apple’s "first, long-in-the offing foray into wearable devices" is slated for an October reveal. While that’s by no means the final word on the matter, the publication’s sources have been spot-on with future Apple event dates in the past. We’ll keep our wrists bare below the elbows just in case.
Design questions aside, the true mystery about Apple’s long-rumored iWatch lies in exactly what types of health-related sensors the wearable might include. A recent report claims the iWatch will sport an astonishing 10 different sensors, including one for sweat.
While pedometers, accelerometers, thermometers and every other o-meter Jony Ive can get his hands on might all make sense for a smartwatch, we’re wondering what Apple could do with a sweat sensor? Other than verify that, yes, your sweat glands are pouring out more fluid per minute than Niagara Falls during your jog?
It turns out that adding sweat sensors would do more than differentiate the iWatch from smartwatches by LG, Motorola and Samsung right out of the gate. It could make the iWatch the most “personal” device you’ve ever shackled yourself to, with surprising applications that go far beyond fitness and health.
An iWatch concept design by Gábor Balogh. Not the real thing.
While Google and Samsung’s smart watches seem designed with function over form in mind, it looks like Apple’s iWatch will be more of a luxury fashion item. A key executive from TAG Heuer, a Swiss watch maker, has been hired by Apple to help market its upcoming wearable.
Along with this latest hire, Apple has been slowly building a team of fashion industry experts who will be instrumental in making the iWatch a commercial success.
The iWatch is coming. No one really know what it will do yet, but Steven Milunovich, UBS’ top Apple analyst, claims that if Apple has its way, you’ll use the iWatch mostly to send voice messages back and forth with your friends, like Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio.
Because voice messaging is so huge among smartphone users in China, Milunovich says sending voice messages will be one of iWatch’s biggest features along with fitness. And even though it sounds a little silly that voice messages would be the main draws for iWatch, he just met with Tim Cook who couldn’t stop talking about it.
Microsoft’s rumored smartwatch will supposedly look more like this Nike+ FuelBand than an Android Wear device. Photo: Andrew Guan/CC/Flickr
Apple’s first foray into wearables is expected to be revealed this October, but Apple’s not the only tech giant preparing a smartwatch for this fall: New rumors claim Microsoft has plans for its own wearable, only it won’t look anything like the big bulky bands we just saw at Google I/O.
As the first new product line launched under Tim Cook, most people realize how significant the iWatch is going to be for Apple. But research firm ABI Research thinks it’s also going to be make or break for the wearables market.
Crunching figures, ABI points out that “smartwatch” shipments for the first quarter of 2014 was an unimpressive 510,000 units — with the top four players being Samsung, Sony, Pebble and Casio. ABI suggests that users are holding off on picking up wearables until the launch of the iWatch.
With Google showing off Android-powered wearables from Samsung, LG and Motorola at its Google I/O developers conference this week, the smartwatch competition has officially heated up.
The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live will ship in early July, so Android Wear smartwatches will definitely beat Apple’s rumored iWatch to the market. In today’s video, Cult of Mac shows how these handy, Android-powered devices — which let users access smartphone features from the convenience of their wrists — set the bar high for the iWatch.
Apple has made another interesting hire to augment the already impressive number of biometrics experts the company has snapped up in recent times.
Alex Hsieh, who joins Apple as a new firmware developer, was formerly lead engineer at the weight training-oriented, fitness-tracking company Atlas Wearables.
Launched on Indiegogo back in February, Atlas raised an impressive $629,000 to create the most accurate and social wearable activity tracker yet available on the market. This accuracy was largely the result of an impressive suite of internal sensors, designed in part by Hsieh.
With reports about the iWatch in full swing, this hire confirms once again that Apple has one of the most biosensor impressive teams ever assembled for its long-awaited arrival in the wearables field.
After giving the world a glimpse at Android Wear back in March, Google has finally revealed its new OS meant for wearables. Android Wear, detailed Wednesday at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, is a true OS for smartwatches that will offer many advanced features like synced notifications, the ability to control other devices around you and constant display of relevant information based on the wearer’s location.
Unless Apple surprises the world with the speedy release of its long-rumored iWatch, it looks like Android Wear smartwatches will win the race for wrist supremacy. In other words, they’ll be your first “iWatch.” Here’s what the Google-powered devices will offer.