Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 29, 2014

Is Apple Set to Announce a Wearable Device in September?

You may recall that a few months back I asked, “Will we see an iWatch along with an iPhone 6 phablet this fall?” The rumors of an iWatch have been floating around for several years. We have seen potential designs and diagrams of potential versions of such a wearable device, but never a confirmation from Apple.

Lately we have come to the point where the word “may” was used, that we may see an iWatch this fall. This was followed by Apple taking out trademark rights on several words including iWatch. September is typically when Apple does deliver on a new smartphone and word is that at an event on September 9, Apple will announce the availability of two new iPhone 6 models.

Will there be room to announce the long awaited iWatch at this event? Throughout the year, Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted that the company would enter new product categories this year. Is wearable the category that he has his eye on? To date, there still have not been any leaks pointing to a possible new iWatch, so we are still working on rumors.

According to Re/Code, we can start the countdown timer. Apple's long-rumored entry into the wearable device market may happen at the company's September iPhone event. Typically, Apple holds two events, one in September to announce new iPhones and one in October to announce other products such as tablets and computers. The expectation would have to wait until October to hear about a new device, say something like an iWatch, but all indications are that we may be privy to this information sooner rather than later.

If Apple does introduce a wearable device at its iPhone event, that would mark a departure from the normal product rollout strategy that the company has used in the past. It would also be the first new product line from Apple since the introduction of the original iPad in 2010.

According to John Paczkowski at Re/Code, Apple will be making good use of its HealthKit health and fitness platform as well as its HomeKit. This is a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. Apps can enable users to discover HomeKit accessories in their home and configure them. In addition, they can create actions to control the devices.

Apple would be entering into the world of wearable technology at a time when we have already seen several smartwatches on the market, some of which have been out for a while. Will this make the iWatch what CNET sees as a “hard sell?”

In an email between CNET and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Woz said, "Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn't quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable."

In addition, Eddy Cue, who is in charge of Internet, software and services at Apple, said the company has "the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple." This definitely is a positive sounding statement that implies there is a lot to come from Apple, not just something.

Although September 9 is less than two weeks away, I suppose that we will still have to wait and speculate as to whether or not Apple will actually make a wearable announcement. We will also still have to wait to see what the iWatch will officially look like, assuming of course that an announcement is made considering that invitations to the event have not been sent out yet.

 



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