Apple iWatch: Price, rumours, release date and leaks
The Apple iWatch is rumoured to be in some form of production right now – we round up the news and speculation on its specs, features and potential release date
Update: iWatch to have 'slightly rectangular' 2.5-inch screen according to new sources. Smartwatch also tipped to start production in July.
The watch is pretty much confirmed at this point, with low-level Apple employees referencing the device's design process during talks with the New York Times.
Rumours suggest that Apple has hired large numbers of designers and technical experts to help the company reach its goals in creating a wrist-based Apple device. The rumour comes from the Financial Times who also report that there are concerns over whether Apple has the know-how to create such a complex device to their own extreme standards.
Supposedly a team of ‘about 100 product designers’ are working on the iWatch – including managers, marketers and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad. That’s according to two people ‘familiar with the company’s plans’, which puts them in a remarkably small category.
According to the two in the know, the project is ‘beyond experimentation phase in its development.’
Apple iWatch launch date
It's the question on everyone's lips – when will I be able to buy an Apple iWatch. Increasingly, the answer is looking like September.
In March, Wedge Partner's Brian Blair has said that he has seen evidence Apple's supply chain in Asia is gearing up for a September launch. Details of his predictions emerged in a research note published by investment website Barrons.
That was followed up in May with a report that supply chain partners were beginning to start producing the components that will make up the iWatch itself.
Apple employees seemed to suggest a fourth-quarter release for the iWatch, which falls in line with other rumours.
Apple iWatch will be called….iWatch
In case you were wondering, which we're sure you weren't Apple will almost certainly be calling its Smartwatch the Apple iWatch. This comes after confirmation came in that the tech giant had filed iWatch trademarks in Japan and Russia.
What you may not have been expecting however is the news that Apple may not be able to call its product the iWatch in the UK, instead having to come up with a different name after it was revealed that iWatch has already been trademarked in the UK, US and in Europe.
Apple iWatch price
Sadly there hasn't been much talk about what Apple's iWatch will cost, but thanks to other companies jumping on the bandwagon we can get a rough idea of what the cost will be.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 is set to land in September this year with a price tag of around £150, that means that if Apple applies its usual premium price tag you could be looking at between £180-£220 for your very own iWatch.
With rumours circling that Nike could be launching a new Fuelband as well all eyes will be on the company that can offer the best gadget for the cheapest price.
Apple iWatch features
The latest rumours say Apple's upcoming timepiece will sport a 'slightly rectangular' 2.5-inch display, and will start production in July 2014.
Rumours suggest a sapphire display for the iWatch might be exchanged for a more basic OLED version, thanks to a shortfall in the rare material. Sapphire is expected to be used in the next iteration(s) of the iPhone, which Apple is said to be prioritising in regards to material usage.
A recent rumour suggests that Apple will include a UV sensor in the iWatch.
According to an investment note released by Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, Apple’s smart watch is likely to come with a UV sensor. His comments follow the announcement by Silicon Labs of the world’s first single-chip digital UV index sensors.
Another rumour comes courtesy of David Hsieh, an exec at DisplaySearch. Hsieh claims that Apple will be making two iWatch devices, one sized for men and one for women.
According to Hsieh the news comes from within Apple. If it turns out to be true it would certainly set the iWatch apart from the competiton who have been looking to find a universal solution for sizing.
A further two informers claiming to be au fait with Apple’s various super-plans say it is experimenting with a ‘wristwatch-like device made of curved glass’, operating on iOS. The NYT notes Corning has developed bendable glass last year called Willow Glass which could be used to wrap around something wrist, and cites Forrester’s claim that “Apple’s certainly made a lot of hiring in that area”.
There are also claims Apple is in discussions with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which makes a large number of iPhone and iPad parts, about producing an iWatch. Foxconn are apparently working to make more power-efficient displays and stripping down chips, aimed at multiple Foxconn customers. This Wall Street Journal report also claims Apple has hired employees with backgrounds in sensors and related tecehnologies.
Apple iTV, Siri and iCloud
While many have dismissed the idea of a Apple iWatch in the past, some are coming around to the idea in think pieces. The Cult of Mac notes that recently Siri and iCloud has become massively important to Apple – and that these two technologies actually lend themselves very well to a wristwatch strategy. It also points out that it would be particularly well suited as a remote control to any TV that may be being worked on. The Apple iTV is an entire area of speculation in itself, which we’ve collated and summarised for you here.
It has also been pointed out that an iWatch wouldn’t be such a dramatic new area for Apple, since the square iPod Nano with watchstraps can act as, well, pretty much a watch with knobs on. A Blog To Watch also concurs that Siri integration will be key.