Apple could now be testing its often rumored iWatch, according to reports, possibly indicating a launch as early as this fall.
These reports, which originate from the Economic Times, also indicate that Apple has decided to shift away from the 1.8 inch displays the company had been rumored to include in the iWatch. Instead, it will build the device with 1.5 inch displays, because reportedly it felt that the larger 1.8 inch display were too big for the wrists of most users.
Another report from the Economic Times also indicates that Apple has already placed an initial order of 1,000 iWatches for testing from Foxconn, the same company who manufactures the company’s line of iPhones today.
A potential iWatch is just the latest rumored device that attempts to ride the upcoming wave of “wearable computing” that integrates and extends the features of smartphones more fully into the lives of users.
The other upcoming product in the field is Google’s Glass concept, which uses a camera and the internet connection of the user’s smartphone to stream video and provide useful information to users without them having to pull out their smartphone.
If Apple does release an iWatch, it could be more socially acceptable than Google Glass. Some establishments have already made it known that devices like Google Glass won’t be welcome.
It seems Google isn’t pinning all of its wearable computing hopes on Google Glass, possibly for this reason. New patents filed by Google-owned Motorola Mobility confirm that the company has at least done the ground work to create a possible Nexus Watch, dubbed Moto ACTIV, that would complement Google Glass and compete directly with Apple’s iWatch. These patents pointed to a smartwatch that would be able to monitor a user’s health using sensors. Unlike today’s smartwatches, like the Pebble, Motorola’s patents indicate that Moto ACTIV would have its own mobile internet connection instead of relying on a smartphone in the user’s pocket.
The iPhone has an abnormally high theft rate, according to many of the officials in charge of the United States largest cities. Naturally, many see a potential iWatch as an attempt by Apple to address this problem, however the practicality of this remains unclear. It’s believed that most thieves are tipped off to a user’s iPhone because of the company’s signature white ear buds and design. Even if an iWatch was connected to the user’s iPhone device, the sight of one could still tip of would-be muggers to the presence of Apple’s mobile device.