Apple said to develop curved glass iWatch with Foxconn
Or is Cupertino simply juicing the rumor mill?
A weekend flurry of speculative articles stoked the Apple "iWatch" rumor mill, perhaps indicating that Cupertino is secreting some well-placed leaks to pump up interest in what it hopes might be its Next Big Thing™.
The Wall Street Journal, for one, reports (paid subscription required) that "people briefed on the effort" tell them that Hon Hai Precision Industry – aka Foxconn – is in talks with Apple about "a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices" such as the rumored iWatch.
The New York Times, for their part, received their iWatch info from "people familiar with the company's explorations" who are "not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products" – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Those worthies said that the iOS-based device would be constructed of curved glass that wraps around a user's wrist.
Far be it for The Reg to say so with any degree of certainty – Apple? certainty? surely you jest – but the appearance of two iWatch-oriented articles appearing on the same day in highly regarded news outlets does cause our media-manipulation detectors' VU meters to pin.
Wearable computing devices are the new hotness in these days of what mobile-device manufacturers would like you to think of as the Post-PC Era, with Google Glass being perhaps the best-known example.
Just last week at the Common Platform Technology Forum, IBM's chip honcho Gary Patton waxed enthusiastically about the future of wearable electronics, revealing fully-depleted planar SOI transistors that his team had created on a flexible substrate perfect for any number of different wearable devices. "So now we're getting into what I would call the science-fiction era," he told his audience of deep-geek chipheads.
An iWatch that simply allowed you to make calls by communicating with your smartphone would be more of a Dick Tracy–style wrist radio than what we might these days call science fiction. But Chester Gould, Tracy's creator, envisioned that two-way radio 60 years or so ago, and science fiction marches on.
Exactly what capabilities Apple's rumored iWatch might have was not detailed by either the WSJ or NYT's sources. Would it interface with the iPhone as does Pebble Technology's "first watch built for the 21st century?" Would it use Apple's Siri sometimes-it-works-sometimes-it-doesn't "intelligent personal assistant?" Would it have its own spate of apps on the iTunes App Store, or would it merely access information received by an iPhone, such as text messages, navigation info, and the like?
The sources were silent. But remember, iWatch rumors have been bandied about not only since late last year and early this year, but surfaced as early as 2000, when Apple was said to be developing a watch that ran Mac OS, powered by a Transmeta processor.
Needless to say, that didn't happen. But if the WSJ's "people briefed" and the NYT's "people familiar" are, indeed, Apple-sanctioned leakers, it's entirely possible that a Cupertinian something-or-other might appear in the not-too-distant future. Or not.
But with Apple's stock price grumbling along on this Monday afternoon at well below $500 per share, Cook & Co. might have decided to excite a bit of investor interest – and hope – for Cupertino's aforementioned Next Big Thing™. ®
Re: iWatch or iPhone ?
Nice plug Theo..... but that article is just fucking bad - seriously, I don't like swearing even on the internet but I just cannot figure how else to express my disgust.
You tell me that "The mobile phone form factor as it is today is dying". I say bullshit. A quick Google shows that in the last quarter of 2012 smartphone sales alone have accounted for massive growth (47% compared to 2011) in the mobile phone sector.
Almost everyone I see has a smartphone and even my Luddite father who still has a Nokia 6310 has finally started talking about how he'd like a phone that "does something".
You then compound your nonsensical drivel by stating "Nobody really wants screen real-estate in a device we talk into, it’s senseless and unnecessary." Go and sit on a bus, take a train or even go a coffee shop. almost all people there will have a smartphone and it will appear to be glued to their hands.
Are you seriously saying that people will want a phone only if it's small and wearable? That apple will release this shit and the whole industry will collectively slap their forehead and see where they've all been going wrong?
Smartphones have their place in the world at the moment and have got there by combining features that people want, not by isolating a single subset. By your logic we'd all be walking around with a dumbphone and a tablet and that the original iphone should have failed.
I can see the point that a device to supplement your phone may be a good idea - on paper. However, if it was actually a good idea then the myriad of other devices that do the same job and are already on the market would be selling in the millions. please explain why, in your twisted vision of the near future the 'big' companies (Samsung et al) are not already all over this?
The rest of the article appears to be the deluded wanking fantasy of a 'futurist'. I wasted my time reading your article and it made me angry enough to write this, I'm not angry at your opinion just in the way that you've neglected to announce it as complete fiction at the beginning.
I sincerely hope that I never stumble across any of your other work.
I wonder how many different ways of telling the time a person will have on them if/when wearable computing becomes mainstream.
"The time you say? Well certainly sir, would that be phone time, iWatch time, or augmented reality glasses time? If you have a moment I can drop my trousers and a sundial will be projected from my arse"
Re: Wow, like playing darts.
If your iOwl is running iMaps I don't like the odds of him finding Starbucks let alone making it back home...
Re: Not likely called ' iWatch', though.
How long until the innevitable patent appears where Apple claim a "method of dividing temporal durations into a sequence of equal periods which combine into a hierarchy of increasingly larger periods that can be associated with the movement of the earth, moon and sun"
They can keep them?