The New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton reports that Apple (AAPL) is currently building a watch-like device, dubbed the “iWatch” by gadget geeks, within the confines of its Cupertino headquarters.
According to two unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the product, which is reportedly made of a new type of glass that’s incredibly thin and bends with the movement of the human wrist, would operate on the same platform as the iPhone.
The idea of a wearable computing device by Apple is not new. The Times reported that Cupertino was prototyping such a gadget in 2011. But with smart watch competitors such as startup Pebble Tech Corp that just recently begun its attack on the market, and Google (GOOG) getting closer to releasing its glass headset with a display that sits above the eye, which according to a company executive will eventually comprise three percent of the search giant’s revenue by fiscal 2015 as Google begins its push to make wearable computing mainstream, the era of the iWatch and wearable computing technology may be drawing near.
From The NYT:
“In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate Apple’s iOS platform, two people said.” The report also says that Apple’s watch would differentiate itself from competing devices “based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body”.
The Wall Street Journal separately issued its own iWatch report corroborating Bilton’s article, adding that according to one person briefed on the effort, Apple has discussed a wristwatch-like device with its major manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, also known as Foxconn, which has been working on some technologies that could be used in wearable devices.
The Journal goes on to note that the Taiwan-based company has been working on a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices.
Apple has not offered a concrete date for when it may roll out the product, and both the company and manufacturer Foxconn have declined to comment on the rumor.