back to article It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

What's better than smartphone that is not strapped to your wrist? A smartphone that IS strapped to your wrist. In what is a strange rumour even by the standards of supply chain rumours - Chinese manufacturing news site iPhone.TGBUS says that Apple is planning to release a watch in 2013, and the story has been widely circulated …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: About time

"but probably the first time it'll be [given a brand label in] a way that sells in significant numbers."

It's all about the brand it seems. :(

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Re: About time

>It's all about the brand it seems.

Well yeah, if you compare a £5 Casio Quartz with a Rolex or Panerai, the Casio is more accurate and has more features. Obviously if you are a deep sea diver an Arctic explorer or work in very high magnetic fields (Rolex Milgauss), the modest Casio (or Lorus, or Seiko) might not cut it, but I'm sure that doesn't account for most of Rolex's sales.

The existing product that seems most comparable to this rumoured device is the Sony watch that acts as a companion to Android phones... MKI was said to be very buggy, and that alone is enough to stop many people from looking at the MKII.

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Called me old fashioned

Yep, you're welcome.

I don't even bother with watches that need batteries anymore, let alone one that needs charging every few days and is just a penile extension.

My everyday watch is a Seiko automatic - I've had far more expensive ones, but they weren't as good. Needs adjusting once every two weeks or so, and never needs any other attention.

But I suspect this is a joke. Come to think of it, just like everything Apple does.

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Re: Called me old fashioned

Same here, my Antique Accutrons languish and I either wear my 76 Seiko automatic or my 80's era Soviet Raketa. "which gains about a minute a month I might add"

I expect this is a joke though for the exact opposite reason. Apple is about sleek user experience, and data watches are not it. Microsoft tried this, it was a disaster. But Apple is about taste, and the popular taste is NOT watches. People go out of their way to remind me of this every time someone notices I wear a watch at all.

If this actually happens, THEN I'll believe the direction is lost.

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Re: Called me old fashioned

Taste... more people commented positively about a chunky stainless steel analogue G-Shock I wore than they do about a slimmer, rather charming 1969 Omega Chronostop with the original mesh bracelet (that my dad bought in a pub in 1970) I wear. Oh well.

Curiously, on website forums in the past, I have read comments like "Who wears a watch these days?" from people who have gone to identify themselves as living in the USA, whereas European commentards were more supportive of wristwatches. Anecdotal, I know... though analysis of crowd photographs might give something more resembling 'hard data'.

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Why would it need a SIM?

OK, first off I have to say I think this rumor is just that. I've said before that if I ran Apple one of the things I'd do is spend a few tens of millions (pocket change for them) on having Foxconn build prototypes of products they have no intention of releasing, and fake versions of iPhones and iPads to stuff up the rumor mill enough that even when information inevitably escapes no one knows which is real and which is disinformation. Let the competition waste energy trying to figure out how to respond to products they won't ever release.

But anyway, back to the main point. If it interacts with your iPhone it doesn't need a SIM itself. The only reason it would need a SIM would be if it needed to access the cell network for voice or data. A watch is too small for a useful display for smartphone apps - you couldn't run a browser, or facebook, or angry birds or very much of anything. It could, however, listen to what you say and respond - i.e., Siri. Since Apple does almost all the processing in the cloud it could run on a watch, and you could use it for placing calls, speaking/hearing text messages, asking for turn by turn directions and so on even when limited to the tiny amount of power that would be possible to provide in a watch.

If it needed a SIM, you would want it to be as tiny as possible - so one small point in favor of this rumor is that Apple decided the micro SIM wasn't small enough and wanted and got one that was even smaller. People have guessed that it was to allow them to make the iPhone 5 thinner, but they could have given up a couple mAh of battery out of the 1430 or whatever they have to get the extra room, so that reason doesn't pass the smell test.

However, there are a lot of reasons why this watch rumor wouldn't be true, such as the fact that people mostly gave up wearing digital watches 20 years ago. Watches are worn today for fashion, not for functionality. The silly little watches with tiny buttons that allowed them to be used as calculators are long gone, except maybe for the geekiest of geeks. The only watches sold today for functionality are fitness watches like the Garmin that help track heartrate, distance run/biked and so on. I doubt Apple would try to enter that market unless they could make it do something everyone wanted, not just serious fitness buffs. In order to sell this product Apple would have to overcome the strong trend away from wearing functional watches (or watches at all) by making people want this one.

It's hard to see why anyone who has a smartphone would have any use for a smartwatch, so it would have to be targeted at people who don't have a phone. The only real markets where this is true in developed countries would be pre-teens and the elderly. Basically something to call home, call for help, and perhaps offer tracking of the wearer for the parents of children or the caretakers of the elderly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would it need a SIM?

I'd (probably) buy one if it meant I could see who was calling or read messages / emails etc. without having to get my phone out in the middle of the street.

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Happy

But will it be able to tell the time?

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Joke

Yes, but it might have its own ideas about which time zone it thinks you're in.

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Unfortunately like copy and paste this will be missed in iWatch 1 but will make an appearance in iwatch 3 to much fanfare and screams from the media about how original it is.

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Meh

That is just dumb. Who, except hopeless lost on the past people like me "and retro junkies" wear watches anymore?

If they do this Jobs will rise from the dead and give new meaning to "corporate headhunting" now that would be a GREAT movie! I can see it, "And One more thing" WHACK!

Mind you, I said the iPad was a dumb idea that would fail, so what do I know?

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Anonymous Coward

I suspect about 95%+ of people wear watches...?

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Hiya Dana- where do you live, very very roughly? Just curious if one's country has a bearing on wristwatch use. Watches are still pretty popular here in the UK, though not universal- it's far easier to pull at your sleeve than it is to fumble in your pocket!

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Why not

So what if they make an iWatch. Personally I'm waiting for the complete device to be called the iSpy since that's what it will really do anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Would not be surprised - after all you could get a watch strap for the older iPod Nano - they upgraded the Nano but it's now too big for a watch. But why not... sounds a good idea to have your notifications and some control on a watch so you do not always need to check the phone.

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Anonymous Coward

There are others or similar ones but if Apple do it at least it will work well (at least with their kit).

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iSnooze

I must admit I am getting a little tired of the i(Device) naming convention, I know it's Apple but for me it's getting a tad cheesy.

Off for an iDump.

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Anonymous Coward

Errm, it's already been done..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006RJR62I/

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Re: Errm, it's already been done..

True, but the Sony Liveview 2 still leaves room for improvement. It's still at the 'suitable for first adopters and gadget freaks' stage.

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Megaphone

apple watch in stylish barcode finish with rfid included to proudly display your number

when apple (latin for evil) release a watch and it becomes popular, you will know the new world order has taken over and will begin sterilizing your children and putting binary weapons in their HFCS.

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Re: apple watch in stylish barcode finish with rfid included to proudly display your number

No more Robert Anton Wilson for this man!

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Anonymous Coward

Android's BEEN there DONE... Ooops DOING that!!

SUE the SUITS at Apple for ANY designs ALREADY being done in the ANDROID camp. LOCK'EM out of the business. Apple feels they can practice more "revisionist history" right. Apple aleady has everybody believing Apple invented the mouse, the GUI, as well as the brilliant programing environmnt it takes to create in. Much less the Language(s) it takes to pull it all together!!

As far as SmartPhone WATCHES are concerned.. Android ALREADY HAS HUNDREDS of various types out here. And TENS of thousands of STYLES... WOnder whose LEGAL TOES in CHINA Apple steps on THIS time. I say DO UNTO Apple, as Apple has BLATENTLY done to XEROX, HTC, Samsung, Motorola,LG, et al.

This plays out as we knew it would have to. Apple being out-flanked by the MYRIADS of ENTREPRENEURS the world over who see an opportunity to get in on the HOTTEST bandwagon since the original IBM PC. ANDROID, NO, actually the public wins. AND CES Los VEGAS, punctuates this, Jan. 9, 2013.. Ya gotta LUV Free Enterprise. Just LUV IT!!!!!!

"

'Nuff Said

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android's BEEN there DONE... Ooops DOING that!!

Crikey - calm down dear and learn about the CAPS LOCK / SHIFT buttons and a dictionary might be a good idea.

aleady

environmnt

Los Vegas

LUV

<lol>

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Re: Android's BEEN there DONE... Ooops DOING that!!

Er, no one said that similar products don't already exist... from Sony's efforts to various crowd-funded devices. The do leave room for improvement, though. Take the Sony, for example... you have to tap it in order to read the time- just like those 1970s LED watches.

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JDX
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Re: Android's BEEN there DONE... Ooops DOING that!!

Tablets existed before iPad and touch-phones before iPhone. Apple's genius is in somehow making the world want something that they had previously decided they didn't.

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Meh

What goes around ....

Intel used to have a line of digital watch chips in the 70s, that were probably more successful than Itanic.

At one point it was manufacturing the whole product, having acquired Microma in 1972. It then got out of the business in 1978 selling on Microma so it could concentrate on inventing a CPU with a screwed up address space that would hamper us all for the next 35 years ...

Apparently Harrison Ford was wearing one in Blade Runner. But even with a flying car, he is still forced to use public pay phones ...

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Devil

When I was at school ...

... we had this joke:

A man is at the airport catching a flight to Germany, when he meets his boss flying back from Japan. Hi Mike, says the boss, how are you? Mike has a few minutes before his flight, so he goes up to the boss for a chat. Putting down a couple of heavy suitcases the boss says, you gotta look at this, and shows Mike the most amazing watch he has ever seen. Got it in Tokyo airport, says the boss. It has a Z80 processor and 16MB of RAM [remember this joke is at least 30 years old], and if you press this ... a tiny aerial pops out and the color display starts showing BBC news.

Now Mike is a real gadget freak and is green with envy. But his boss is really nice, and says - look, Mike, I'm back in Tokyo next week. Why don't you have this, I'll grab another one? Mike is ecstatic; strapping the watch on he goes to his flight, which is now being called - only for his boss to say "wait a minute" - points at two massive suitcases - "don't you want the batteries?"

It is somewhat ironic that this joke predates mobile phones.

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Pint

O Boy , here we go again !

Now that the phone industry is tearing itself apart with patent wars , why not jump in and do the same with watches ? Watches that have round corners , round watches , having a strap to hold the watch to our wrists moving our arm and rewinding / recharging the watch , that's all got to have been invented by Apple ? White watches .. Colors for watches .. Check the USPTO and equivalents for loads of patents on things we have come to use and know for centuries now being awarded to Apple .

Signed : Sick and disgusted with the patent systems.

Let's have a beer and forget the year coming .. Ill skip to 2014 .

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Joke

They wouldn't use an intel chip in a watch. They would use an arm.

<------icon should just say alert.

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Anonymous Coward

HAPPY NEW YEAR EL REG

....first Apple windup of the year.

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If it just connects to your existing phone why the need for a SIM?

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JDX
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Who knows

People have tried wearable PCs before and failed. A bit like how tablet computers had been written off as crap pre-iPad. Maybe just maybe... Apple could make a watch-PC mass-market-desirable and then everyone else can make better versions which don't sell.

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Sony SmartWatch

Sony is so gonna get sued for copying the iWatch, especially since they stole the white/metal/rounded corners design of the iWatch over a year and a half before the iWatch was released. Also, they have the same functions, what with all those phone integration features and whatnot.

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WTF?

Is it the 1980s again?

Meh. 1985 called and wants its story back: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartwatch#Seiko_RC_series

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