Hush Hush… iWatch in the Making
Apple traditionally loves to keep secrets about its upcoming releases rather than making them public. The tech giant enjoys building and sensing the excitement in its fans regarding the products. This is precisely why the company hasn’t yet said anything about the much-awaited iWatch. However, evidence suggests that the Cupertino giant is in the process of making a smartwatch.
There have been speculations in the past with respect to Apple developing a smartwatch. Apple was suspected to be working on a smartwatch when the company recently filed for a trademark for iWatch in Japan and Mexico in July. Additionally, the company has also hired high profile individuals including Nike's FuelBand fitness expert Jay Blahnik.
As per Taiwan-based analysts and latest reports, two leading Taiwan-based electronic firms Quanta and Inventec, which are involved in assembling Apple products, have been given the order to manufacture the iWatch. Quanta and Inventec have received orders for making the wearable device in a 60:40 ratio. The Apple smartwatch is estimated to hit the market in the second half of 2014.
In fact, Chief Executive Tim Cook has also shown interest in making an accessory, or wearable product. He also admits something like a wrist band or a smartwatch would be accepted by people only if the features are compelling, as people mostly have stopped sporting a watch after using smartphones.
So what is a smartwatch? What else can it do other than telling the time?
What to Expect?
A smartwatch connects to a phone via Bluetooth and shows updates, notifications and messages on the watch. The user is not required to take out the phone to see such notifications which include emails, social networking updates, caller ID and text messages. It gets much easier for the user to get information on the watch itself without having to take out the phone from the pocket.
Both Samsung and Apple are expected to have health sensor fitness tracking features in their smartwatches similar to what Nike (NKE) Fuelband and Fitbit offer.
So what price would the Cupertino tech company keep for its smart iWatch? An analyst Wang Wanli of CIMB Securities Limited expects the price of the iWatch to be in the range of $150 to $230 with an average price of $199. The wearable device from Apple is rumored to have a touch screen panel of 1.5 inch or 2 inches.
Wearable devices could become a big market in the coming future. There are several other lined up to offer such products in the near future.
My Takeaway - Competition Ahead
Google (GOOG) glass is eye wear with an optical head-mounted display. The search engine is expected to start the commercial production of the glass in 2014. The smartwatch market will see more players in the near future as Google and Microsoft (MSFT) are also working on such wearable computing devices.
No big tech giant wants to keep the smartwatch arena unexplored. The iWatch shall come in next year and it will have to face rival products from Samsung. Apple would also be competing with Sony (SNE)'s smart watch and smart watch 2. There will be tough competition as each of these companies is working very hard to develop a wearable computing device and create a new product line to add to revenue.
It would be interesting to see how Apple thinks different, like always, to keep up to its brand name and offer another class product.