Apple may be famous for its premium smartphones, tablets and computers, but the Silicon Valley-based design company may expand its horizons come 2013. Whispers from China have indicated that Apple could be developing its very own smart watch, according to Chinese gadget news source Tech.163.
This device would connect to all of your iOS devices via Bluetooth, and Intel is rumored to be working with Apple on this wearable tech project. Little is known about the purported device’s specs or features, but the report did say that it could come with a 1.5-inch AMOLED display manufactured by RiTDisplay with ITO-coated glass.
Apple appears to be aspiring to attack a budding sector of the mobile market. Wristwatch devices are beginning to gain popularity among users, with products such as Sony’s SmartWatch and the Pebble Kickstarter project that blew up on the crowd sourced Web platform earlier this year. The Pebble smart watch, which hit more than $10 million on Kickstarter, connects to your Android or iPhone device. Users can customize the watch’s interface and download apps directly to the device. Sony’s offering is an Android watch that “keeps you discreetly updated & your hands free.” It comes in various colors such as blue, pink, teal and lets you check messages, calendars, and Facebook updates.
Apple isn’t the only company reportedly dipping into the wearable technology market. In September, Microsoft patented what looks to be a wearable video game controller for its Xbox gaming console. Samsung has also been working on bendable, unbreakable displays for quite some time that could pave the way for wearable devices.
This also isn’t the first time tech enthusiasts have mused at the proposition of a hypothetical iWatch, and Thursday’s findings have further fueled these suspicions. However, it’s important to take this news with a grain of salt. Apple, of course, has not confirmed any plans to enter the smart watch race. Even if it did, there’s no guarantee that we would see it any time soon. Apple geeks shouldn’t count on playing with wearable iOS watches at CES next month, but it certainly is interesting to think about.
If this rumor does turn out to be true, it wouldn’t be the most revolutionary move for Apple but it could do more to popularize the smart watch genre. Tablets existed before Apple introduced the iPad, but no one really wanted them until Apple came out with its own. Even when the first generation iPad was released in 2010, critics and tech aficionados scoffed at the device that was initially perceived as an oversized iPhone.
According to Tech.163’s source, Apple plans to launch this rumored smart watch sometime next year.