Talking tech since 2003

Is your watch ringing? It could be soon, if a report from Bloomberg turns out to be accurate. The news outlet claims that Apple plans to release its highly-anticipated iWatch “as soon as this year,” which means Apple needs to get a move on if it plans to kick the smart watch revolution into high gear.

Ever since wearable computing started to pick up steam again — with the FitBit, Nike’s Fuel band, the Pebble watch, and the introduction of Google’s Glass project — rumors have run rampant that Apple also plans to make a splash in the wearable space. An iWatch that runs some variant of iOS and interacts with other iDevices would certainly catch the attention of consumers, and with Apple’s design experience, an iWatch could look more like a fashion accessory than a miniature computer strapped to your wrist.

And with the watch industry experiencing a resurgence, there might not be a better time for Apple to jump into this unfamiliar territory and leave its mark. Bloomberg cites the shares of two watch makers — Fossil and Movado Group, Inc. — whose stock prices have tripled since 2009. The watch appears to be making a comeback. If Apple is indeed working on an iWatch, it could not only join the movement, it could spearhead the effort to make watches much smarter.

In terms of Apple’s war against Google, I think Apple might have a slight edge in terms of the stigma surrounding its wearable computing product. Most people don’t have an issue with someone else wearing a watch, but it can be a tiny bit unsettling to see someone wearing a Google Glass lens. It’s almost like looking at some sort of futuristic robot/human hybrid with a HUD that displays vitals and identifies targets. Robert Scoble said it best in a Facebook post: if Google Glass has a problem, it’ll be a dork vs. regular person problem. He’s not sure if Glass could escape that. Watches, however, have been around for a long, long time. They feel familiar. They don’t feel threatening. If a smart watch is the wearable Apple plans to push, I think it’s a good choice.

If Bloomberg’s timeline is accurate, Apple has a bit less than ten full months to get an iWatch manufactured and onto shelves before the year is up. We’ll keep you up to date if we hear anything more about this product. Until then, stay tuned.


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