Apple-built wearable computers seen as long-term replacement for iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While Apple probably won't get into the watch making business in the immediate future, one analyst believes that wearable computers could ultimately replace the iPhone in the long term, much like the iPhone has replaced the iPod.

Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors on Wednesday tackling the possibility of wearable computers in Apple's future. The note was issued in response to an unlikely rumor that claimed Apple is working with Intel to build a "smart watch" accessory that would tap into high-end iPhone functions including voice calls.

Munster doesn't see a hypothetical Apple watch debuting any sooner than 2014, but he does believe that wearable computers could replace the iPhone and smartphones in general over the next 10-plus years.

"We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control," Munster wrote. "Longer term, screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet."

These devices could eventually prove to be cheaper to manufacture than the iPhone, Munster believes, which could prove to be the company's "best answer to addressing emerging markets."

Watch


But Apple isn't expected to begin selling any wearable computing devices in the immediate future. That's where Munster sees Apple leveraging its Made for iPhone program to fill the gap for early adopters.

"We believe the company could utilize its MFi program to benefit other companies making wearable devices," he said. "Examples could include clothing, shoes, belts, earrings, bracelets, hats, etc."

He sees clothing and accessories providing information such as body temperature, steps taken, calories burned, blood sugar and more to a device like an iPhone.

Some basic wearable computers compatible with the iPhone are already available for purchase. Last week, AppleInsider took a first look at the MetaWatch, a third-party accessory that receives phone call and text message alerts from the iPhone, as well as information such as calendar entries and weather.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    That is one ugly watch
  • Reply 2 of 42
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Not sure who's worse: DigiTimes or Gene Muster. :lol:
  • Reply 3 of 42
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Do we even have a reliable heart rate monitor that works with iPhone yet (Bluetooth 4.0)?
  • Reply 4 of 42
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    Since most young people in my neighborhood always walk around staring at their phones now I would say we already have wearable phones.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    I agree that in the future we'll see more wearable technology.

    Apple was ahead of the game with the last Nano yet they sadly abandoned that form factor.

    If only they added Bluetooth, simple notifications, and allowed you to keep the watch "on". The Nano would have been a better device than all these other "smart" watch posers.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    iBand, here we come!

    And I'll bet I see an iBand first before I see the Pebble I kickstarted that, as of now, is FOUR MONTHS late ....
  • Reply 7 of 42
    ScotteVest already has this wired, so to speak. They sell vests, jackets, and other clothes with special pockets for iPods, iPhones, and even iPads. The clothing has loops inside it to run your earbuds up through the clothes -- no external wires. The pockets allow access to your iPhone or whatever without pulling it out.

    Almost invisible. And better than Dick Tracy style watches that cause problems for people with skin allergies.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    .....Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors on Wednesday tackling the possibility of wearable computers in Apple's future....


     


     


    This just in...Gene Munster watched the Star Trek marathon over the New Year holiday and predicts all devices seen on the show will become reality in the future...

  • Reply 9 of 42
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member


    I don't see this "wearable" stuff catching on, particularly not glasses, except with hardcore nerd-geeks. Maybe we'll see phones being replaced or augmented by "combadges" (although, we already have this with bluetooth headsets), but, we'll still carry around computers in our pockets. Most people just don't want to wear gadgets. And, even though I've joked about Dick Tracy watches, I don't think they'll become all the rage.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    notscottnotscott Posts: 247member
    Because people LOVE wearing glasses.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


     


     


    This just in...Gene Munster watched the Star Trek marathon over the New Year holiday and predicts all devices seen on the show will become reality in the future...



     


    Well, if he had, he wouldn't have made this prediction.

  • Reply 12 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    If only they added Bluetooth, simple notifications, and allowed you to keep the watch "on". The Nano would have been a better device than all these other "smart" watch posers.


    Maybe it will appear as a new product, not an iPod.


     


    Have faith. :)

  • Reply 13 of 42
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    People who complain about Apple's obsession with thinness, I think they are deliberately pushing the boundaries to get us to wearable tech.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    All right, Dick Tracy is finally going to happen.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    kerryb wrote: »
    Since most young people in my neighborhood always walk around staring at their phones now I would say we already have wearable phones.

    Yell at them to get off yer lawn.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    notscott wrote: »
    Because people LOVE wearing glasses.

    Not to single out your comment, but iti s common and always brings on thoughts like these:

    Better to wear sunglasses when it's sunny, reading glasses when you're over 50, corrective lenses when you're nearsighted, polarized glasses when you're watching 3D.

    They're tools, like earbuds and headphones. Or gloves and shoes. I don't get the hostility to vision augmenters. Maybe it's vanity. But then, many people wear sunglasses out of something like vanity.

    Anyway, we NEED Apple's version of stereovision wearable screens as soon as possible. Stereovision will be helpful in teaching language, reading, all kinds of art, plus it will be a new form of empathic communication. Helpful for post-traumatic stress therapy, autism, Alzheimer's, other cognitive challenges. Not to mention the most fun interface for looking at 3D webcams from around the world.

    My wife and I were just talking about how watching 3D movies affect your dreams. More close detail, color, and definitely "stereo dream vision." These media technology changes are not trivial, and not to be resisted for non-serious reasons.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    ascii wrote: »
    People who complain about Apple's obsession with thinness, I think they are deliberately pushing the boundaries to get us to wearable tech.

    This is a very good point.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    Not to single out your comment, but iti s common and always brings on thoughts like these:

    Better to wear sunglasses when it's sunny, reading glasses when you're over 50, corrective lenses when you're nearsighted, polarized glasses when you're watching 3D.

    They're tools, like earbuds and headphones. Or gloves and shoes. I don't get the hostility to vision augmenters. Maybe it's vanity. But then, many people wear sunglasses out of something like vanity.

    Anyway, we NEED Apple's version of stereovision wearable screens as soon as possible. Stereovision will be helpful in teaching language, reading, all kinds of art, plus it will be a new form of empathic communication. Helpful for post-traumatic stress therapy, autism, Alzheimer's, other cognitive challenges. Not to mention the most fun interface for looking at 3D webcams from around the world.

    My wife and I were just talking about how watching 3D movies affect your dreams. More close detail, color, and definitely "stereo dream vision." These media technology changes are not trivial, and not to be resisted for non-serious reasons.


     


    They are going to be "resisted" because people don't want to adopt them. Telling us that we ought to want to doesn't change that. Glasses are simply a pain to wear, it has nothing to do with vanity.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    Maybe it will appear as a new product, not an iPod.

    Have faith. :)

    This too. A nano that pops up out of the wristband and takes stills and videos is in the works.

    I'm sure of it.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    They are going to be "resisted" because people don't want to adopt them. Telling us that we ought to want to doesn't change that. Glasses are simply a pain to wear, it has nothing to do with vanity.

    Ok, it also has to do with what you are used to. And what you gain by wearing them.

    Glasses are nice to wear when you can't see well without them. They will be nice to wear when you get an immersive 3D view of someplace you've never been to.

    Of course you will not wear them all the time. You don't want to be doing a lot of things all the time either, but you'd better do them at least sometime during your life. Or your day.

    I'm not really saying you OUGHT to want to wear glasses, I'm saying you WILL want to. Or, in other words, knee-jerk resistence against glasses is irrational, like being anti-headphones.

    Telling Apple to stop development of their stereo eyeglasses . . . the very idea . . .
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