The Apple iWatch round-up: features, release date & athlete testing

While Apple did not talk about their iWatch at WWDC, there has not been a lack of information, news, rumours, and speculations in the week following the conference. We have collated the latest to bring the Apple iWatch round-up of the week.

Apple iWatch concept (source: 9to5mac)

Image source: 9to5mac

Apple iWatch will come in multiple versions

The Wall Street Journal is this week reporting that Apple is looking to crack the smartwatch code by offering their iWatch in multiple versions.

As they correctly highlight, there are already options in the market for smartwatches, and with more to come in the coming months from the likes of Motorola, Samsung and others, all likely running Android. Consumer interest has however been as limited as the functionality of the watches, showcasing that sometimes it’s not all about being first to market if your product does not meet, or should i say exceed, consumer expectations. According to the report, Apple is looking to rectify this by including no less than 10 sensors that will track and monitor amongst other health and fitness data, thereby incorporating technology from other more or less successful wearable tech solutions, such as the Nike Fuelband. This fits in nicely with the new Health app announced for iOS 8.

WSJ refer to several analysts predicting that Apple, with its history of delivering products that resonate with its target audience, will be the first to really make wearable tech popular, estimating sales of between 10-15 million of the iWatch when it likely launches later this year.

2.5-inch iWatch to start mass production in Taiwan

CNBC is reporting that sources close to Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc has indicated that the company will be starting mass production of the Apple iWatch in July, and that the device will feature a curved 2.5-inch touchscreen delivered by LG. All companies of course decline to comment on the rumour.

Apple testing iWatch with professional athletes

With health and fitness functionality expected to be a key feature in the coming Apple iWatch, 9to5mac is reporting that Apple is teaming up with some of the top athletes in the world of sport to (a) test the product for them, and possibly (b) to endorse the product when it launches, likely later this year.

Their source indicates that Athletes such as Kobe Bryant (NBA), Dustin Brown (LA Kings), and an unnamed Boston Red Sox player (baseball) are amongst the athletes that will be testing out their new wearable tech device. Kobe Bryant was earlier this month spotted at Apple Campus in Cupertino meeting with Apple design chief Jony Ive.

Kobe Bryant is already working closely with Nike, so it’s possible that he will be a key athlete for use in marketing of the Apple wearable tech as well, given that Nike is reported to be working closely with Apple on the fitness aspects of the device.

The Apple iWatch is widely expected to be announced in October this year.

Filed in: Apple news, What's next

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