Rumours that Apple is working on a wearable device refuse to die down. A team of over 100 people led by none other than Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, is now hard at work on this so-called iWatch. Bloomberg today reports that Apple is looking to have the device out this year. The Verge corroborates the report, adding additional details as well.
The iWatch remains in development at this time. Rather than leveraging the iPod nano’s touch interface, Apple is reportedly adapting its iOS operating system to work on the watch. Battery life also remains a concern with Apple hoping to have the iWatch last up to five days between charges but only managing about 2 so far.
Features that Apple could give its iWatch include the ability to let users make calls, check map coordinates as well as typical phone capabilities such as call display. It could also include a pedometer and sensors to track health-related information such as heart rate.
Apple expects that the iWatch could be more profitable than its other much-anticipated project, an iTV. Gross margins for the global watch industry average about 60 percent. While Apple may not see similar profits, it would still benefit from significant ones. According to Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen, this could be a US$6 billion opportunity for Apple with plenty of opportunity for upside if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod — something consumers didn’t even know they needed.”
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