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Apple reportedly has 100-person team working on unannounced smartwatch

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
Adding to the litany of rumors regarding a forthcoming Apple-branded smartwatch, a new report claims the company has a team of at least 100 designers, including a senior director of engineering, working on the project.

iWatch
Artist's rendition of purported Apple smartwatch. | Source: Yrving Torrealba


Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the team responsible for the smartwatch initiative has grown to about 100 people over the past year, and includes marketing, software and hardware personnel who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad.

In a rare move, the publication names two of the team members ? Senior Director of Engineering James Foster and Apple manager Achim Pantfoerder ? as being part of "efforts to introduce a wristwatch-style computer."

The sources go on to say that Apple previously looked at releasing wearable computing devices, though the projects never reached the hands of consumers. According to these people, the sheer size of the purported smartwatch team suggests the rumored initiative is now past the experimentation phase.

Reports of the alleged watch came pouring in last week, with The New York Times saying Apple was experimenting with a "wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass" that runs iOS and can perform minor smartphone operations. In a separate piece, creator of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines Bruce Tognazzini predicted that the company would release an "iWatch" to fill a "gaping hole" in the iOS ecosystem.

"[The iWatch] will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come," Tognazzini wrote on his blog. "Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple?s fortunes."
post #2 of 89
A nearly identical Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch will be released soon after Apple's.

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post #3 of 89
Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.
post #4 of 89

Sure some people may say that they don't need a watch because their phone display the time. But can you really say that the experience of fumbling in your pocket for your phone and clicking the backlight button to show the time is a good one. I definitely don't still interesting to see what Apple might come up with. .  .
 

post #5 of 89

iWatch article is suspiciously timed, eh?

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 89
I wonder what the reason behind a smartwatch is and why Apple would be getting into this market and what it would do. I just don't see it but then again how many of us saw the iPhone, iPad etc? That's one of many things I love about Apple - they see the things others don't and revolutionize the market in ways we never knew existed.

Be interesting to see what developes here.
post #7 of 89

I don't know either... but on the other hand, maybe people will wear *smart*watches...

post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.


The world is getting rid of watches?

 

Here, get educated:

 

http://www.prweb.com/releases/watches_market/clocks_market/prweb9400315.htm

 

This looks like a winner. How could you be any more trendy, fashionable and technologically advanced than with an Ive designed iWatch.

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post #9 of 89

Most people do it by looking at the time in their cars, or on their computer or phone. Their is no need for another watch. This iWatch will take sales away from the iPhone, which is not good for profits.

post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.

How long had the smartphone been around before Apple jumped in? How long had the tablet been around before jumped in? In both cases Apple made it better, Apple it desirable, Apple made it chic. I don't see why it's impossible for Apple do the same for a smart watch.

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post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.

#1 I am beyond glad that you my friend are not any type of management in a good CE company.
#2 You are the reason Apple does not do focus groups. You, like the majority of the worlds population, cannot imagine beyond the small boxes that you live in. If device A has been used for function A, why would a variation of device A be any better? Hint: It's device B in the format of device A that does functions a-p.

post #12 of 89

The last thing this communication device will be used for will be telling time  - the term 'watch' is so unfitting.

post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


The world is getting rid of watches?

Here, get educated:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/watches_market/clocks_market/prweb9400315.htm

This looks like a winner. How could you be any more trendy, fashionable and technologically advanced than with an Ive designed iWatch.


Hmm. The total global watches market is $46.6 B. The total global TV market is 290 B Euro (about $400 B). http://www.idate.org/en/News/World-Television-Market_664.html

So these experts are predicting that Apple will capture 20% of the total combined TV and watches market in the foreseeable future?

Just more inane predictions that appear to be designed to do no more than create unrealistic expectations.
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post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckalec View Post

The last thing this communication device will be used for will be telling time  - the term 'watch' is so unfitting.

 

iAgree.

 

If anything, it will be competing with other health and fitness products.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #15 of 89
If iWatch looks like the one in the photo, I'll buy one to play around. It looks cool.
post #16 of 89
What most of oblivious users don't realize is that the so called iWatch, if developed as it is expected, will not only create a new platform on where to access your Apple world (apps, photos, icloud, mail etc...), but will also open new paths for Graphene based devices (or Graphene-like materials) eventually leading to this http://bit.ly/WHIIay (don't kid yourselves, it's in the projects).
Graphene developers have already been capable of producing a layer of 0.1mm (note that graphene is a material with a width of only 1 atom).
Graphene can not only be used as components of eletronic devices, but it can also allow, for instance, for people with eletric cars to charge to maximum capacity in only half an hour (instead of the current all-nighter).
And by the way, if you think no one will buy a wrist watch, you're mistaken. Joggers (specially) will want a piece of the iWatch.
But keep in mind, it's technology is not meant to be for a 13year old kid with he's pants under his knees. It's technology is something we can truly call amazing, which means, in the near future, it will probably be more expensive than an iPod.
post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Hmm. The total global watches market is $46.6 B. The total global TV market is 290 B Euro (about $400 B). http://www.idate.org/en/News/World-Television-Market_664.html

So these experts are predicting that Apple will capture 20% of the total combined TV and watches market in the foreseeable future?

Just more inane predictions that appear to be designed to do no more than create unrealistic expectations.

I wonder how big the tablet market was when iPad came out
post #18 of 89

I'm struggling to see how Apple could incorporate voice and music into a watch. I guess that's why I'm no product developer.

 

Will users need a Bluetooth headset with a mic to listen to music and take a phone call? (If you see a smartwatch with a Bluetooth headset, they blew it?) Will there be an option on the watch's screen to alert the caller to wait while the wearer gets their phone? There is a way to select a custom call pick-up message with iOS 6, but I've never used it, so I guess that's an option. If the idea is to complement an iPhone, wouldn't it be vastly better UX-wise to select tracks on your phone's screen than a purported 1.5" square screen?

 

I'm not saying these things can't and won't be worked out. I'm just really excited to see how Apple pulls this off.

For your sake, I hope you're right.
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post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Hmm. The total global watches market is $46.6 B. The total global TV market is 290 B Euro (about $400 B). http://www.idate.org/en/News/World-Television-Market_664.html

So these experts are predicting that Apple will capture 20% of the total combined TV and watches market in the foreseeable future?

Just more inane predictions that appear to be designed to do no more than create unrealistic expectations.

Perhaps not in the immediate future, but you honestly see no chance of Apple capturing ~20% market share (or let's just say profits) in even the foreseeable future? Hmm.

 

And, such predictions might be optimistic, but inane? Apple has an indisputable history of disrupting and capturing even larger portions of CE markets. Why not those? They're both crusty tech spaces ready for Apple's style of innovation and re-invigoration. 

For your sake, I hope you're right.
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post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

Most people do it by looking at the time in their cars, or on their computer or phone. Their is no need for another watch. This iWatch will take sales away from the iPhone, which is not good for profits.

Actually quite the opposite. First, it may be called an iwatch but telling the time will be the least of its abilities.  Your phone isn't just a phone anymore right?   The iWatch will be a huge compliment to the iPhone increasing sales.  You will need to have both to take full advantage.  The watch will display incoming texts, calls, reminders, notes, emails, all handled by Siri and your iPhone.  It will be an information hub.  If you don't have the iPhone it won't be of much use.  If it's a huge hit you will see a huge increase in iPhone sales.

post #21 of 89

I can only really see this being an accessory. There have been hints that Apple is working on a comprehensive system for monitoring aspects of health and sports, so maybe they have something like the Nike fuelband in the works.

post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Hmm. The total global watches market is $46.6 B. The total global TV market is 290 B Euro (about $400 B). http://www.idate.org/en/News/World-Television-Market_664.html

So these experts are predicting that Apple will capture 20% of the total combined TV and watches market in the foreseeable future?

Just more inane predictions that appear to be designed to do no more than create unrealistic expectations.

I just checked that source link you included. It appears to reference the global TV industry in its entirety,specifically referencing revenues from content, e.g., pay-per-view and advertising. That's not what this thread is addressing. We're talking hardware, not content. Your source didn't mention hardware at all. I'm not sure if I'm missing some other point in your post.

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post #23 of 89
It's a wearable computer, not a watch! Why compare it to a watch? Do you compare an iPhone to a pocket watch since the iPhone displays the time?
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post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.

The same generation that have been wearing Timex Ironman watches in droves?
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post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bro2ma View Post

I wonder how big the tablet market was when iPad came out

Everyone knows watches exist in all kinds from cheap plastic ones to diamond encrusted ones. How many people believe that the iPad was the first tablet? See the difference?
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post #26 of 89

For fun, and to see the current state of the art, go to amazon.com and search for "smart watch". <-- or click here.

 

What comes back are a few actual smartwatches,  watches that are mostly Bluetooth displays and/or audio, and some astonishingly inexpensive GSM phones in giant wristwatch like cases.

post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

For fun, and to see the current state of the art, go to amazon.com and search for "smart watch
". <-- or click here.

What comes back are a few actual smartwatches,  watches that are mostly Bluetooth displays and/or audio, and some astonishingly inexpensive GSM phones in giant wristwatch like cases.

Eww...

http://www.amazon.com/Version-Ultra-thin-Quad-band-Mobile-Camera/dp/B0036WHNVS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1360724946&sr=8-5&keywords=smartwatch

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post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.

Hmmm-  Not sure about your view,   or lack thereof.   This will hardly be a "watch"  

 

I imagine this:

Anticipate It to be a stand alone device,  ie,  last gen ipod nano,  attractive screen,   memory.  Form will follow function.   Will have wireless (Bluetooth?) capabilities to tether to other IOs devices.  Sends & receives text,  email,  etc.  Powered and charged via available light    SIRI  would play a huge role in its design and functionality.  All of this technology exists today- much of it owned by Apple.    Having all this on my wrist, YES.   How wonderful to not have to reach for my phone,  which can be at times so awkward and socially lame.  Glance at my wrist instead..... whoooahh!     

post #29 of 89
An iWatch will be part of the Apple ecosystem, think of a BlueTooth enabled device that works like a fuel band, lets you read emails, tweets and texts, links to Siri on your iPhone, controls your Apple TV, etc...

There's a generation of wrists that need iWatches 1smile.gif
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

I just checked that source link you included. It appears to reference the global TV industry in its entirety,specifically referencing revenues from content, e.g., pay-per-view and advertising. That's not what this thread is addressing. We're talking hardware, not content. Your source didn't mention hardware at all. I'm not sure if I'm missing some other point in your post.

You're absolutely right. The TV hardware sales are much smaller.

This source says that the number is around 50 M units in a quarter - or 200 M units per hear. At $1000 per TV, that's $200 B. Add in the watches and you have $250 B - so the analyst is expecting Apple to capture 1/3 of the total market - which is just plain absurd. Those are both well-established markets with strongly entrenched market leaders and very little profit potential. To think that Apple will come in with a premium priced product and take a third of the market is crazy.


Yes, they did it with iPads, but that was not an strongly established mature markets. Let's look at mobile phones. At launch, Jobs said Apple wanted a couple percent - and the analysts thought that was unreasonable. Even now - after 7 years of the most successful product launches in history and products that completely revolutionized the industry, Apple has around 10% of the entire mobile market.

So why are TVs and watches so different that anyone would reasonably predict Apple to get 1/3 of the entire market? Nothing. It's pure hype intended to create unrealistic expectations.
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post #31 of 89

 

*laughing*     Yes there are some bad ones.   

 

I tell ya though, I'm thinking really seriously about getting one of those $70 GSM watchphones for my young daughter.  Yeah, it's big and ugly, but at least if it's on her wrist, she can't lose it as easily !

 

 

On an different note, I remember when IBM came out with their concept of wearable digital jewelry over ten years ago:

 

 

 

And finally, a comment about this "100 person team"... well, they're not very SECRET, are they now?   Whatever happened to doubling down on secrecy?  

 

Maybe Apple felt the need to leak the project, because rumors say that Samsung might have a smartwatch (or at least a smart bracelet) coming out soon, perhaps to go with the Galaxy S4


Edited by KDarling - 2/12/13 at 7:39pm
post #32 of 89

I quit wearing watches years ago because I found them uncomfortable and got the time in my car and from my computer (as people have mentioned).  When I got a mobile phone I added it to the time telling mix.  I have several nice watches including my grandfathers Hamilton pocket watch and a nice Mondaine Swiss pocket watch along with several wrist watches.  I rarely remember to wear or even wind them.  While I recognize that the Apple device will be more of a wearable computer/communication device, I'm still not interested.  Mostly because I would most likely break it since I have to actually do things with my arms and hands during my work day.  I see how many will be fascinated with and that it will find many unexpected uses, much like the iPad did.
 

post #33 of 89

I have the nike fuel band.  Can't tell you how many young people ask "what is that?"  "that is so cool"  It's a watch and a bit more.  Tim Cook wears one.  Something is coming . . . . . . The fuel band is just a tiny beginning.

post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

On an different note, I remember when IBM came out with their concept of wearable digital jewelry over ten years ago:

This isn't a new concept. I'm sure if Apple does enter the wearable computer market there will be a huge number of new posters here showing us all this "prior art" that shows that Apple just copied this or that idea. The more revolutionary and successful the product the more claims that Apple didn't invent shit.

As I always say success in technology isn't about being first but having the right product and the right time, which often means knowing what to exclude. I can't imagine that Apple doesn't have teams working on wearable computers. I fully expect some new product category this year but until recently I could only conceive of an HEC device of some sort would be viable.
Quote:
And finally, a comment about this "100 person team"... well, they're not very SECRET, are they now?   Whatever happened to doubling down on secrecy?  

Maybe Apple felt the need to leak the project, because rumors say that Samsung might have a smartwatch (or at least a smart bracelet) coming out soon, perhaps to go with the Galaxy S4

I see no need to leak anything. The original cites two people familiar with their plans. if they are late in the progress they've gone through a lot of stages with a lot of companies so it might now have been an internal leak, assuming it's even true as it's unverifiable as we've seen no components that could be for such a device. Remember the first touchscreen iPod Nano? We saw that display for months for it launched.

As for doubling down, that has says nothing specific. How do you make something doubly secure? Twice the funding for security? Twice as many lawyers writing up contracts with supplies? They could be putting in a lot more effort but that doesn't mean it will be a success. And as far we know they've simply changed how they look at security and have made it considerably more secure without spending an extra dime. It could be huge investments to get away from using Samsung which will take time.

One thing we do know is that we had no idea about Mountain Lion until they told us (or allowed a tech writer to release their information). I suspect the same thing will happen again this year… and shortly.

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post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

This iWatch will take sales away from the iPhone...

 

You are so true, but remember that Apple has no fear of cannibalization of their own products. They see (as I do) that the iPhone has a shelf life (just like the iPod) and they are laying the groundwork NOW to make that transition before others can take the momentum away from them. It will take a few iterations before the iWatch will be a functional replacement for the iPhone, just like it will take a few more iterations before the iPad is a complete replacement for the MacBook.

 

Imagine that the best way to beat Samsung is first to take away billions of dollars in funding by not doing business with them, not allowing them insight into "the next big thing" by letting them manufacture your products, and finally to move on to another market while they are just ramping up to compete in the previous market. Apple loves to off-put their competitors and make them scramble. The iWatch (or whatever it will be called) is just the opening salvo to a whole range of wearable computers that people will look to Apple as the market developer and leader for years to come.

 

When Cook said they were doubling down on secrecy, THIS is what he was talking about, not the stuff that was already known.

post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well the world is getting rid of watches. An entire generation of people is growing up who never ever worn them. I don't see apple can reach a sizable market with such a product.

 

Just like when the world was getting rid Walkman's in the 90's... there was no point in Apple producing a pocket music device. 

post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


This isn't a new concept. I'm sure if Apple does enter the wearable computer market there will be a huge number of new posters here showing us all this "prior art" that shows that Apple just copied this or that idea. The more revolutionary and successful the product the more claims that Apple didn't invent shit.
 

 

Don't ya just know it! :)

post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirROM View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 
This iWatch will take sales away from the iPhone...
You are so true, but remember that Apple has no fear of cannibalization of their own products.

I think an iWatch would unlikely replace the iPhone. Perhaps years from now that will be feasible but right now the cost would be high (think of an iPhone but with even more miniaturized components). And how much battery life would you get from an always-on cellular device on your wrist? Then there is the complete lack of an app ecosystem as you can't get a 3.5 or 4" display on your wrist without it looking ridiculous, not to mention you one ever have one hand to operate it.

I tink the most likely is using BLE to create an accessory that adds to your iPhone or other iDevice, not replace it.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


The world is getting rid of watches?

 

Here, get educated:

 

http://www.prweb.com/releases/watches_market/clocks_market/prweb9400315.htm

 

This looks like a winner. How could you be any more trendy, fashionable and technologically advanced than with an Ive designed iWatch.

 

"Recuperation in demand for luxury watches post recession, robust demand from developing markets especially Asia-Pacific and rising popularity of fashionable, vintage and innovative models are forecast to drive market growth."

 

 

If Apple was interested to satisfy 0.1% of the population (most reach people on the planet), iPhone would have been golden plated with the diamond Apple logo on the back.


Edited by jason98 - 2/12/13 at 8:53pm
post #40 of 89

Wonder if there will be a law suit over the other watch that has been announced recently?

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