In some quarters, reports of Apple launching a watch-based product have been dismissed as a smokescreen aimed at putting a spanner in Samsung’s spokes as the launch of its new smartphone the Galaxy S IV approaches. But it appears the watch rumour won’t go away with the latest reports indicating a launch this year.
A Bloomberg analyst this morning suggested that targeting the watch industry could turn out to be a US$6bn opportunity for Apple.
Analyst Oliver Chen pointed out that the global watch industry will generate more than US$60bn in sales in 2013 alone.
Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive is leading a team of more than 100 product designers and engineers focused on delivering an iconic new wrist-watch experience.
Some of the features of the new watch are expected to include the ability to make phone calls, see the identity of incoming callers and live map co-ordinates.
According to The Verge, Ive and his team have opted to rework the entire iOS operating system to run on the watch rather than the watered-down version that runs on the iPod nano.
Citing sources, The Verge says the team is working on a goal of developing a wristwatch computer that can run for at least four to five days between charges.
Current prototypes are running for just two days maximum at present.
If Apple does succeed in bringing a watch product to market, it will coincide with the launch of Google’s Glass smart glasses, signalling the dawn of a new age in wearable computing.