When it comes to iDevice rumors, it’s always dangerous to take them too seriously. Especially when it comes to predicting release time frames. The latest comes via Bloomberg, which claims that Apple will release its watch device in the next 9 months.
Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy.
To accommodate the smaller screen of a watch, Apple could adapt its iOS mobile software to limit what information is sent to a wrist device, said Scott Wilson, a watch designer who developed a line of watchbands for people who wanted to use an iPod nano as a watch.
One thing is certain: Apple is looking in to a wrist-worn piece of technology. We saw the patent that showed ideas for a snap-wrap style device, where the entire outer surface was the watch’s display. While flexible glass is still some way off being ready for the mass market, Bloomberg notes there’s never been a better time to enter the watch market. It’s a market worth way more than TVs, and has experienced something of a boom since 2009.
The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales in 2013, said Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen. While that’s smaller than the pool of revenue that comes from TVs, gross margins on watches are about 60 percent, he said. That’s four times bigger than for televisions, according to Anand Srinivasan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.
Having used the MetaWatch Strata for the past week, I cannot wait for this area of wearable technology to start growing. And we all know nothing kicks off growth and innovation like Apple entering the competition. It did it with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. We can only assume the iWatch (if that’s what it’s called) will kick start some serious development by other manufacturers.