Apple has stocked the fire burning under the rumor-mill by filing an application for the ‘iWatch’ trademark – a pretty clear precursor of a product coming soon. Recent months have been littered with reports and leaks concerning Apple’s apparent intent to develop a wearable device that will function as something of a wrist-based Smartphone with various unique functions.
Interestingly however the patent was only applied for to cover the Japanese region, which leads to the assumption that for one reason or another Apple had to act quickly. On the other hand there’s the theory that a Japanese company may have been looking to develop its own Smartwatch and use the iWatch name for gain be association – Apple’s application could have therefore been a simple case of brand protection.
If so, there’s every chance of there being no iWatch on the cards from Apple at all.
But for the same of keeping hope alive let’s just say there is – there’s certainly enough evidence gathering as of late to suggest that an Apple watch of some description is on the cards. And it’s not only about the evidence leaking out either, but also the way in the Apple’s biggest rivals spanning the industry are known to be planning Smartwatch releases of their own – including Sony, Samsung and perhaps even Microsoft.
The device itself is expected to be something of a mini-Smartphone with a curved glass touchscreen to be worn on the wrist. The majority of functionalities brought by the iWatch will come when the device is paired to a suitable piece of iOS hardware, such as an iPhone or iPad. It will to some extent be usable as a standalone device – perhaps as a music player or camera – but will by rights function more as a remote control and second screen for the host iOS device.
As far as mainstream appeal goes, it’s still far from certain whether or not the iWatch or any of its rivals will strike a chord with its intended audience, but analysts are confident that the industry will be a huge and important one. It’s claimed that the Smartwatch market will be worth billions of dollars within the next couple of years alone, which is said to be exactly why the likes of Apple, Samsung and Sony are hurrying their products along to bring their debuts forward.
Apple has refused to pass comment or answer any direct question on the status if its iWatch project.