Apple (AAPL) is all set to launch its first smartwatch dubbed to be the ‘iWatch’ in September this year – probably at the Apple event on the September 9. Whether it’s sleeker than what Samsung and Google (GOOG), (GOOGL) is offering and how the features are able to entice consumers to buy the model is worth noticing. Though most of the intrinsic details will be known only after the formal launch, let’s take a quick attempt to unfold some of the vital features of the watch and investigate how Apple plans to tackle the growing competition in the wearable sector which is presently being ruled by the cheap android Google watches to a considerable extent.
Building the iWatch
Luckily the iWatch will not be as simple as the Samsung or the Sony smartwatch attached to your iPhone. Rumors have confirmed that Apple has been spending a lot on the making of the iWatch. Last year, Apple hired the renowned fashionista Paul Deneve, former head of high end fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent, to work on style statement critical projects like the iWatch. Also recently, Apple roped in Tag Heuer’s vice president of sales, Patrick Pruniaux. It all seems that Apple has been in a hiring spree for designing a fashionable, multifaceted, must-have, premium Apple iWatch that could sweep the wearable market off its feet.
Also as per market firm IDC's forecast, the worldwide shipments of wearable computing devices, the category including smartwatches, will triple in size in 2014 over 2013. And this news is good for companies like Apple making a debut in the product category with a premium range smartwatch being unveiled after mid-year.
The specs are mind-boggling
Apple’s iWatch is likely the biggest secret in the tech-driven world. It would not simply be a watch that would display time and help in communicating with the iPhone. Leaked rumors have opined that the IWatch will come with two screen sizes of 1.3 inch and 1.5 inch and suggest that the display would be the AMOLED display. Also, buyers can expect the screen build of sapphire glass which would make the iWatch durable and scratch-resistant.
The Wall Street Journal claims that the iWatch would have multiple designs to appeal to a variety of potential customers.
In June this year, Apple won a patent for a curved battery which is likely to be used in the smartwatch. The best part is that IPhone buyers would be lured into watching Siri, the virtual assistant of Apple devices installed in the iWatch as well. Thus, with a wearable on the wrist, advanced functions like booking a hotel can also be completed – something that will appeal to the busy lot.
In February, the New York Times revealed that Apple’s smartwatch could have wireless charging facility with magnetic induction and may also have solar panels to charge the watch using solar energy. They have claimed that Apple is experimenting into the various modes of charging the iWatch while on the buyer’s wrist.
Hopefully, the battery would be the new layered lithium-ion battery from LG and reports claim that if such a battery is potentially used, it could last up to 16% longer on a single charge than the iWatches having normal lithium batteries.
Working with Healthkit in iOS8
Apple is expected to introduce a health and fitness tracking application with iOS8 operating system installed in the smartwatch. It’s likely that the Healthkit will work in sync with the iWatch’s biometric sensors to collect routine data such as how many calories one has burnt in a day, or the distance one has walked in a day.
Apple could use technology similar to the M7 chip found in the iPhone 5s to further increase the health monitoring capabilities.
With the iWatch working on Apple’s iOS8 platform, it would help developers create apps for the device besides hosting a number of Apple apps such as turn-by-turn walking directions and Find My iPhone.
Competing with rivals
Although Apple is a premium category manufacturer that operates at the top line product range in the market, the current smartphone prices prevailing in the market does leave room for a lot of manoeurving. To keep its prices in a range similar to Samsung Galaxy Gear, news sources have confirmed that the iWatch would bear a premium tag of around $400 per piece.
Apple’s flagship brand is yet to make its debut but the curiosity is ripe after all the rumors are in the air. Let’s wait and watch how Apple carves its niche in the wearable sector with its first launch.