The hype is already starting to build for
the rumoured Apple iWatch, with Bloomberg News reporting Monday that
the yet unseen device could debut before the end of the year.
The iPhone and iPad maker desperately needs a major new hit to reassure investors that the company still has the ability to create new device categories that will replicate its massive successes in smartphones and tablet computers.
"This can be a 6-billion-dollar opportunity for Apple, with plenty of opportunity for upside if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod - something consumers didn't even know they needed," said Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen, who studies luxury goods retailers.
The report said that Apple has a team of 100 designers and engineers working on the device.
Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates. It would house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rate, according to people familiar with the plans.
As usual, Apple has not officially released any details about the device. Based on patent applications, analysts expect the device to feature a flexible screen that wraps around the wrist like a bracelet.
The Bloomberg report coincided with another report on the tech site The Verge, which quoted sources familiar with the prototype as saying that Apple was still struggling with battery issues in the device.
The report said that Apple's current test models only get no more than about two days of use before a recharge is necessary, while the company hopes the iWatch will offer four to five days of use between charges.
The Verge report: http://bit.ly/YoZcmP
Bloomberg report: http://bloom.bg/YoZkCO
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