Friday, February 15, 2013

The Apple Watch - Myth or Real



Image credit: Techcrunch
Looks like the rumored Apple's iWatch may see the light of the day soon. Ever since the Pebble project was announced in KickStarter, there has been rampant speculations about Apple developing its own watch. But Apple never seem to be interested much in building a watch until now. With the recent slump in Apple's share value and the increasing competition from Android powered handsets from Samsung and other Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE, etc., Apple needs something revolutionary like the original iPod, iPhone or iPad to set the cash registers ringing again.A latest report form Bloomberg says that Apple has a team over 100 people working on a watch-like device.


"The team's size—which has grown in the past year and includes "managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad"—might mean that Apple is no longer just experimenting with the watch. That it could be something more than that."
Designing a watch is a completely different ball game as compared to designing a phone or a tablet,even for Apple.
  • The biggest challenge will be battery life of the device. No one would be interested in charging their watch every single day along with the other gadget paraphernalia. The watch,if it were to be real, should not run out of juice at least for a week. 
  • The other big challenge is keeping the interface simple. At the end of the day it is a watch that does a few other tricks and not the other way round. Cramming a full version of iOS would do more harm than good. For example, the Pebble cannot send mails or messages but it merely connects with iPhone/Android device over Bluetooth and uses the phone's resources such as GPS and displays the notifications on the watch screen. Apart from this, the makers of Pebble have released a set of APIs that developers can use to build apps for Pebble. Perhaps Apple should take a cue from this and not try to overdo simplicity like the button-less iPod Shuffle.
  • The iWatch's display should be bright and crisp especially outdoors where it will be used most of the time. The best choice would be to go with e-ink with a backlight display that be used both outdoors and indoors.
Apple stocks have plummeted down more than 30 percent since the high of September 2012 and investors are worried if Apple has lost the golden touch after Jobs' passing away. Apple CEO Tim Cook is under a lot of pressure to assure investors and Apple fans that the company can once again create a billion dollar market like it did with the iPhone and iPad.

Like all rumors, this report needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. As of now, there is no detail about the timeline for the Apple Watch project. So don't hold your breath, for it might forever like the mythical Apple TV.

Disclaimer: All ideas, thoughts or reviews published in this blog are my personal opinion and not that of my employer (Samsung).

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