Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Apple said to be developing iWatch, the wearable iPhone and iPad

Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the computing tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad.

Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the computing tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the company's plans said.

The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. The team's size suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in its development, said the people.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is facing pressure from shareholders who have seen the stock slump more than 30 per cent since a September high amid slowing sales growth and competition from rivals such as Samsung. Without a revolutionary new gadget that commands a higher price, investors are pushing for Apple to return more cash.

"The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem," Bruce Tognazzini, a technology consultant and former Apple employee, wrote in a blog post last week. "Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple's fortunes."

Apple's James Foster, the senior director of engineering, and Achim Pantfoerder, another manager, are part of the efforts to introduce a wristwatch-style computer, according to the people. Apple has worked on wearable devices for tracking fitness in the past, but never brought them to market, said one of the people.

Creating a watch creates unique challenges, particularly managing power demands so that the battery does not need to be recharged every day. Google has been working on eyeglass-embedded computers and plans to introduce them in 2014.

The introduction of a wearable computing device may signal a new direction for the consumer-electronics industry. Apple's debut of the iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010 created the market for touchscreen smartphones and tablet computers that have been followed by companies such as Google, Samsung and Microsoft.

Apple is right to invest in products such as watches, even if they don't result in commercial products, said Josh Spencer, a fund manager at T Rowe Price Group.

"There's more people that would wear an Apple watch than would wear Google glasses," Mr Spencer said.

Wearable machines for tracking fitness are already on the market from Nike, Fitbit and other manufacturers.

 

* Bloomberg News

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 An air traffic control tower is seen at the central terminal of LaGuardia Airport on April 8, 2014. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In pictures: New York’s LaGuardia Airport in need of a rebuild

With constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, private investors and developers are being tapped to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

In pictures: On-demand cab service app Uber targets India

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia with the company starting operations in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities in the last year.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National