Wearable Tech World Feature Article
November 15, 2013

Does Apple Have His & Hers Designer iWatches up its Sleeve?

Well, the folks at DisplaySearch are at it again, offering up some interesting thoughts – or maybe we should say “amusing” thoughts on Apple future products. We do give them credit for noting these musings as almost absolute fact, but it will be necessary to add numerous grains of salt to the mix here. The latest information to head our way from DisplaySearch is that Apple is planning to deliver two iWatches – one of them a smaller 1.3” OLED display device for the ladies and a slightly larger 1.7” OLED display device for the gents.

In any case, this is what David Hsieh, vice president of the Greater China Market for DisplaySearch recently said at a conference in Taiwan. As we noted, the comment was certainly made with a sense of utter certainty, and Hsieh cited unnamed Apple sources as his foundation for making the claim. 

Meanwhile Paul Gagnon, director of North American TV research for DisplaySearch, added further color to the general speculation (we mean “facts”) about iWatches when he noted that, “It appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices.” Gagnon further noted that from his perspective Apple still doesn’t have any real content sources or aggregated content of any sort to put on a TV. He pointed out as well the nebulous notion that Apple has been rumored to be planning a mid to late year 2014 iTV but that those plans have been scuttled.

Apparently, Apple’s iTV projects had been pushed back due to the need to push out wearable tech as soon as possible. It is certainly possible that this is indeed the case. While Samsung has a long and clear lead on the smart TV front that Apple isn’t likely to crack any time in the next few years, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch – along with the likelihood that a next version of the Gear will be released as early as January at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show – may be lighting a small fire under Apple’s wearable strategy, but we somehow doubt it.

Apple isn't about to rush anything to the market just because Samsung has thrown a smartwatch out there- even a Samsung 2nd generation smartwatch. Apple's ultimate victory here - and Apple will eventually win this market segment - rests entirely on two things - extraordinary design , extraordinary consumer-centric fashion sense, and functionality well beyond what today's smartwatches do.

This will likely include curved display technology, and we believe it most certainly will be built around low power Bluetooth, for which Apple very recently received a very interesting patent. We provide a discussion of the potential implications of that patent in our patent article but we will point out here that it has direct implications for Apple's wearable technology plans.

One thing we won't argue with relative to DisplaySearch's prognostications is the likelihood that Apple will have more than one smartwatch to show off when it finally does launch. Not only do we believe it will deliver models for both the ladies and gents, but we believe it will likely follow the path of the iPhone 5s and 5c and offer different types of designs at different price points that will cater to two distinct audiences - the younger crowd and the more affluent crowd.

Stay tuned for more on Apple's wearable technology plans - there is much more to discuss going forward.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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