What time is it? If you check your smartwatch, you may find that it’s a text message past a Twitter notification but if you check the zeitgeist, you’ll find that it’s wearable tech time.
After more than a year of relegation to ‘next big thing’ status, the smartwatch is finally breaking out into the mainstream with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch 2 following where Kickstarter phenomenon Pebble led.
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But we’re yet to see a watch with true wow-factor and, for that, many are looking to Apple.
Rumors of an Apple smartwatch have abounded since Pebble first hit the big time. The so-called iWatch has so far failed to materialize in 2013 but will we see Apple get in on the wrist-worn game in 2014?
We’ve heard lots about Apples’ iWatch. Lots and lots and lots, so much in fact it’s starting to get a bit like the company’s rumoured HDTV – and that’s been on the cards since 2011. But the iWatch isn’t a HDTV; it’s a smaller device that does, in some respects, better fit inside Apple’s current ecosystem of products.
Tim Cook even half-alluded to the iWatch during a Q&A session at AllThingsD’s D:11 conference, saying the wrist and wearable tech in general were very interesting areas for future product lines. And the latest rumour from China suggests Apple will debut the iWatch alongside the iPhone 6 in Q3 2014.
Apple suppliers Quanta, Inventec, and Foxconn are all believed to be competing for iWatch production orders.
Apple is said to be testing two prototype designs right now. According to the report, both units use a rather paltry 100mAh battery – Samsung’s Galaxy Gear uses a 300mAh unit, for instance – and support wireless charging capabilities.
“Battery life has previously been reported as being an issue for Apple, with iWatch prototypes lasting only 1-2 days on a charge and the company hoping to find ways to extend that to 4-5 days,” reports MacRumors.
Additional reports suggest Apple is looking at two iWatch models: a 1.3-inch version for women and a 1.7-inch for men. NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon also noted that Apple appears to have put its major television product plans on hold for the time being in order to focus on wearables such as the iWatch.