Since 2012, Apple has been rumored to be aiming to expand its assemblage of mobile devices to the wrist with a smartwatch. According to two people in the know about the company’s plans, Apple Inc. has, since last year, had a team of about a hundred product designers working on the smartwatch project, including managers, members of the marketing group, and software and hardware engineers – the size of the team suggesting that Apple is beyond is the experimentation phase and in its development. At this point, the Apple smartwatch is pretty much confirmed. Amidst genuine speculations and fake news reports, what is the aspirant buyer to expect? Here’s an attempt to roundup the facts, rumors, and more on the Apple smartwatch.
What will it be called?
No surprises here. Apple will most certainly be calling its new smartwatch the iWatch. This falls in line with the confirmation that the company filed for iWatch trademarks in Japan and Russia. However, interestingly enough, Apple may not in fact be able to market its smartwatch as the iWatch in the UK, as it was recently revealed that iWatch has already been trademarked in the UK.
When will we see it?
This one’s tricky. Of course, the pictures included here are only concept images. Unlike speculation on flagship phones, the iWatch doesn’t have a predecessor we can deduce a plausible time frame from. Right now, our best bet is that the official announcement will come during the next iPhone unveiling, usually scheduled around September or October.
How much will it cost?
Unfortunately, there has been little concrete talk about the price of the iWatch. However, judging by other smartwatches available in the market, we can arrive at an estimate of what the price will be like – and no, it won’t cost you several thousand dollars as some extreme rumors seem to suggest. The Sony SmartWatch 2, set to launch in September this year, will be priced at around $200. So, even if Apple applies its premium price tag – which it usually does – you should not be looking at anything over the $250-$300 range for your iWatch.
What features can we expect?
The rumors are endless, but let’s zero in on the most believable ones:
- According to reputable sources like Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, the iWatch will be available in multiple screen sizes, up to 2.5 inches diagonally and slightly rectangular in shape.
- The iWatch is expected to sport a durable sapphire crystal display. However, there is a rumor that suggests that the sapphire display may be exchanged for a more basic OLED version, owing to a shortfall in the rare material. Sapphire is expected to be used in the next iteration of the iPhone, which Apple is apparently prioritizing with regard to material usage.
- While it will be capable of performing some tasks independently, the iWatch will be dependent on a compatible iOS device (iPhone or iPad) for functions like voice calls and receiving messages or notifications. It may also feature advanced mapping abilities and possibly NFC integration.
- The iWatch will likely have a 4-5 day battery life. It may also come with wireless charging capabilities.
- The iWatch is expected to be fitted with a biometrics sensor capable of measuring multiple health related metrics like steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, sleep quality, etc – thereby making health tracking more accessible to the general public.
With a number of giant corps like Pebble, Sony, Samsung, Nike (with its fuel band), and now possibly Apple jumping on to the smartwatch bandwagon, consumers like you and I stand to soon be spoilt for choice. Let the tech fest continue!