Over the past several weeks, rumors have been circulating that Apple is working on a smart watch, dubbed the “iWatch”. Although it is purely speculation at this point, a number of credible sources have backed claims from multiple sources. After Nick Bilton of the NYTimes reported that Apple was working on a curved glass smart watch, a report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple has a team of 100 product designers working on the “iWatch”.
The rumor reportedly stems from “two people familiar with the company’s plans”, who also suggest that the smartwatch is past its experimental stage. This means that the device is likely in its naming, final design, and production plan stage, which is a similar process to the Cupertino company’s other products.
The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. The team’s size suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in its development, said the people.
It is unclear exactly what features Apple would include in its smartwatch, although it would likely resemble the company’s popular iPad, iPhone or perhaps even the current generation iPod Nano. Apple’s senior director of engineering, James Foster is reportedly also working on the project, which would justify the company’s plans to keep its products consistent.
With an “iWatch”, Apple would likely be competing with other devices such as Pebble’s e-paper display Smart Watch. Apple could also be competing with wearable fitness “smart watches” such as the Jawbone UP, and the Nike FuelBand. Apple currently includes built in Nike+ support in a number of its products, so it would naturally make sense for the company to make this a part of a smartwatch project.
Apple rarely ever introduces a new product unless others fail to make a substantial impact on the market with their own devices. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is currently a Nike Board member and mentioned that wearable devices are an “an interesting area” and that “the book hasn’t been written on that yet.” If Apple is working on a smartwatch, and if it is past the experimental phase as Bloomberg suggests, leaked images and parts will surface in the coming weeks.