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Would This Be Apple's Game Changer?
Posted by: Analyse360Degree (IP Logged)
Date: January 23, 2014 10:05AM

Apple (AAPL) is known for presenting the best of creations to its customers. The Cupertino company not only makes an effort to launch something new to improve the overall experience of the users, but it also ensures that its products give a premium feeling too. There are several rumors regarding the next big thing that the global tech hero would launch, one of them being the iWatch. Rumors regarding Apple’s iWatch started way back in 2012 that the company was developing a 1.5 inch OLED screen smartwatch that could connect to the iPhone.

Is This the "Next Big Thing?"

The International CES that took place inearly January showed the interest of several manufacturers planning to develop smartwatches. Is there going to be a "wrist revolution?" So far there hasn’t been anything that could really modernize and transform wrist devices. Will Apple be able to come out with a groundbreaking smartwatch?

There were reports saying that the company would release the iWatch in early 2013, which did not happen. In February 2013 both Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is keen to explore the wearable computing device space.

Per Mark Gurman, a well-known Apple reporter, the company is hiring people who have the know-how to develop medical sensors. The company is said to have poached Nancy Dougherty from a startup firm Sano Intelligence, and Ravi Narasimhan from Vital Connect, which is into wearable biosensors. According to Gurman, the company pulled in several people from biomedical startups. All this suggests the Cupertino tech’s interest in adding fitness and health monitoring features in the smartwatch.

Gruman didn’t have anything to say on when or if we would see the iWatch this year, given the current hiring which suggests that it is still in the development space. Early next year could be a more reasonable time to expect the iWatch.

Rising Interest of Other Players

Other players have also shown interest in the wearable device space. In fact Samsung already launched its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, which can be connected to the smartphone. The Galaxy Gear is compatible with Samsung Galaxy Note III. The South Korean company is also updating its software to expand the compatibility of the Gear. It can now work with Samsung Galaxy S 4, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and the Samsung Galaxy S III. In fact, Google (GOOG)’s Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are also compatible with the smartwatch, although the pairing of these two handsets have been developed unofficially by and XDA member.

Among other players, experts say that Google is expected to launch its smartwatch sometime by the summer, followed by Apple’s long-awaited, massively rumored iWatch. Even Microsoft (MSFT) is said to be working on smartwatches.

The Pain Points

Sony (SNE) had earlier released a smartwatch, but unfortunately it did not draw much attention. Is it because the design and specifications failed to attract the masses, or is the market for such watches very tiny? Some of the early smartwatches were too big and ugly for women to wear. Gartner analyst Angela McIntyre says that most smartwatches "are wider than my wrist is, and I'm not that small. These are meant for males to wear, so they are missing half the market right there." These are some of the challenges that this industry could face.

Another factor that draws concerns is its cost. The smartwatch is expensive as it costs around $200 to $300. Also, connecting it to your smartphone calls for an added expense of having a wireless service contract with a mobile carrier.

My Take

Definitely there are several challenges surrounding the smartwatch space, but again, which industry is hurdles free! This is not the first time that Apple is facing such a situation, we have seen it before with the iPhone, iPod, and the iPad release. The tech giant has completely revolutionized the consumer electronic space. If speculation regarding the iWatch is true, I am quite confident that Apple would come out with the best of its kind. The company is rumored to have a solid team of geniuses for working on the smartwatch, which suggests the importance of the iWatch project. Apple needs a game changer, another innovation to set itself apart from the rest.



Stocks Discussed: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, SNE,
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