iWatch speculation

Lots of iWatch speculation over the weekend. Two pieces in particular caught my eye.

First, there’s Why would Apple make a watch? by James Gill.

Not long after Tim Cook took over as full time CEO, he made a promise: “We’re going to double down on secrecy.” A few years on from that comment, it seems, as with most of Tim’s public comments, that it was more than just empty marketing speak. From the completely redesigned iOS 7 in 2013, to the launch of a whole new programming language, Swift, at this years WWDC, to the announcements that are about to be unveiled, Apple are tighter lipped and appear to be more controlled than ever.

At first blush, it might seem as if the exact opposite is true. We seem to know a lot about what’s coming, including detailed specs. But I’ll wager that there’s plenty of wow coming, even if what we think we know is spot on. So much has been written about the iWatch, but have you seen even one leaked image? If Apple does indeed announce an iWatch tomorrow, full credit must go to Tim Cook’s ability to keep his “double down on secrecy” promise.

At the very least, I am more than curious about what is underneath that structure.

Also from the essay:

Any watch Apple makes will need to be incredibly light, incredibly thin, and unobtrusive to the point where you forget you’re wearing it. When you go for a run, do you want to be wearing a Rolex or a FuelBand?

An excellent question. If I am heading out to a business meeting or a more formal dinner, what would I want to be wearing? The same watch? Now that would be a trick.

Another essay, this from Kirk McElhearn, Why the Apple iWatch Will Come in Different Shapes and Sizes, speaks to this point.

I do not believe that there will be a single iWatch. I think this will be a broad product category, similar to the iPod product line. I expect Apple to introduce several types of wearable devices, built around an iOS-based software platform. Apple will be targeting a wide range of users with these devices, rater than trying to sell a one-usage-fits-all device. From the basic fitness tracker user, who just wants to count steps or other activity, to the user willing to pay a premium for a fancy watch, I think there will be iWatches for everyone.

Interesting speculation. If there even is an iWatch.

One final thought, a bit of speculation of my own. In an earlier post, Jean-Louis Gassée speculated on the inclusion of Near Field Communication in a potential iPhone 6 as part of a payment system. Is it possible to squeeze NFC into a watch sized device?

  • Ben Miller

    Of course you can put NFC in a Watch. Why not?

    • lkalliance

      The Seahawks are in the NFC, and I don’t think one watch can contain that secondary.

  • Seems that today we are starting to get iWatch CAD drawings… just one day before the event. Also, Swift, iOS 7 are both software piece which are easier to keep secret in Apple’s labs than manufacturing of the iPhone 6…

  • kjmci

    Totally possible – have a Google for “Barclays bPay band” – a prepaid contactless card they launched in collaboration with a few festivals here in the UK. It was absolutely perfect, and having used wrist-based payments I’m really excited at the possibility of it coming to an Apple wearable.

  • swedish chef

    I’m not going to look at those CAD drawings. I’ve been following all the rumours so far, but now I’m ready to just sit back and let Apple show me something new tomorrow. I want there to be some element of surprise.

    • Dave Mark

      I feel exactly the same way. I relish the surprise. I don’t want to spoil the show.

    • Good thing because one cannot judge the device from this… I suspect we will have to consider the iWatch as being a wonderful device by looking at the whole picture instead of the sum of its parts….

  • The aspect about the rumoured iWatch I’m most curious about is power. Having to take my Pebble off to be charged is one of the things that stops it being unobtrusive, wearable tech. I would love to see if Apple has found a way to use a small kinetic battery/generator to enable users to keep the device on for longer between charges.

  • I’m interested in how Apple is going to convince us all that we need to wear watches again. I suppose if they take the fashion angle, they’ll sell to a niche of people who still wear watches as fashion accessories. Privacy issues are trickling into the masses (I see a ton of misinformation and half-true information about Facebook Messenger coming through my Facebook feed, for example), so Apple will have to battle that to have a watch that holds or accesses so much info about a person.

    I’m excited to see their ideas. Apple is often a game changer in things like these.

    • lkalliance

      I was relieved to no longer wear a watch, years ago. But if there had been one that was reminiscent, say, of the Nike FuelBand, I may not have stopped.

  • I sincerely hope that if a watch is coming Apple has a bette name for it than iWatch. Pronounced eye watch, unless their branding includes a reasonable association for the name it’s just all kinds of stupid.

    • SockRolid

      Whatever the Apple wrist-top is, it will be to the ordinary 2014 smart watch what iPhone was to the ordinary 2007 smart phone. It will change things forever.

      • transpo1

        Totally agree