Apple 'aggressively' hiring iWatch designers for 2014 debut, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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scasA report on Sunday claims Apple is "aggressively" making hires for its iWatch team to iron out kinks in the device's design, as current staff assigned to the project are supposedly unable to solve certain difficult engineering issues. test

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AppleInsider was first to discover an Apple patent filing describing a watch design with flexible display.

Sources familiar with the hiring spree told the Financial Times that Apple is looking for people who can address "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve."

The publication notes that Apple is not only mulling acquisitions of small outside firms that may be able to help with the unspecified problems, but is also trying to keep key personnel on the project. Currently, "several dozen" people are said to be working on the initiative.

These sources also say the so-called iWatch is expected for release in late 2014, which lines up with recent estimates from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in May said the unit will likely be rolled out in the second half of next year.

There has been no shortage of iWatch rumblings as of late, including Apple's worldwide trademark tour, which saw the company file for protection of the "iWatch" moniker in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Taiwan. Earlier in July, Apple hired former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on "special projects," a position some believe is related to wearable computing projects like the iWatch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    I think we may see an announcement of the device early in 2014 months before the release much like we saw for the original iPhone and iPad. Apple will build hype and awareness for the device creating the next "must-have" item for people.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple had an event in Jan or March to debut the device before all of the production bits are worked out.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    A possible late 2014 launch for iWatch? Damn! Why does it always take Apple a year to get things in motion. Samsung could easily put out five distinct smart-watches by that time. Not that it really matters because it's very unlikely consumers are going to take to these wrist computers and the value of some iWatch isn't going to add much to Apple's revenue or shareholder value no matter how many are sold to consumers. I can only imagine that battery life will be abysmal for a device that size that is supposed to do so many things.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post



    A possible late 2014 launch for iWatch? Damn! Why does it always take Apple a year to get things in motion. Samsung could easily put out five distinct smart-watches by that time. Not that it really matters because it's very unlikely consumers are going to take to these wrist computers and the value of some iWatch isn't going to add much to Apple's revenue or shareholder value no matter how many are sold to consumers. I can only imagine that battery life will be abysmal for a device that size that is supposed to do so many things.


     


    It's true that Samsung or any manufacturer could come out with a smart-watch now, but many won't take the time necessary to get the concept right, hence why every smart watch out today is a niche accessory.


     


    Apple has the opportunity to do a smart-watch right much like they did the smartphone and tablet "right". I believe if Apple can get the right combination of form and function we'll have another game changer.


     


    As far as the competition rushing products out in the mean time, they're all going to fail and be no where close to what Apple eventually releases.


     


    Remember the LG Chocolate which seemed to be an incarnation of all of the "iPod Phone" rumors, or Microsoft's "Slate" push when they caught wind Apple was developing a tablet? All of those preemptive devices from the competition failed because they didn't take time to figure out the market. They just rushed crap products out to cash in on the hype and buzz, and they all eventually failed.

  • Reply 4 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,904member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post



    A possible late 2014 launch for iWatch? Damn! Why does it always take Apple a year to get things in motion. Samsung could easily put out five distinct smart-watches by that time.


     


    Those pesky "certain difficult engineering issues" that Samsung doesn't have because they don't care about quality engineering and design. When all you want to do is ship crap out the door as fast as you can who needs engineering. Of course you'll be back when/if an iWatch is released crowing about how Apple was late to the game, and how they're doomed, and how smart watches have been around for years. You know, the usual crap we hear from the hater crowd. But by then Samsung will be busy copying those "difficult engineering issues" that Apple solved... and call it innovation.

  • Reply 5 of 28
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    Battery could be built into the band, no? Or is battery tech not that far along?
  • Reply 6 of 28
    timmydaxtimmydax Posts: 284member
    Design-wise, how does apple go?

    They could have an integrated, strap/band as seen above, or do a more traditional face, opening up to strap and/or bezel designs from third parties. Both designs have their merits, but imo the former would be much harder to engineer.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    rainrain Posts: 538member


    It's not a watch... you heard it here first.


    Think bracer

  • Reply 8 of 28


    Really???  Over a year away?  I like Apple and all, but I can't see there being much demand for this kind of tech.  Not to mention, every other company under the sun will already have what I'm sure will be a less expensive option in stores.

     

  • Reply 9 of 28
    thetorrey wrote: »
    ....every other company under the sun will already have what I'm sure will be a less expensive option in stores.

     
    Just like the iPhone huh? I guess we all know how that turned out....
  • Reply 10 of 28
    danoxdanox Posts: 344member
    If the iWatch actually exists its already done!!! in the can, Jon Ive has already moved on 2 or 3 years ago.
  • Reply 11 of 28
    By the time this thing comes out (most likely fall of 2014) it will have been 3 years or so since Steve Jobs died. I just get the feeling the iwatch is going to be lackluster and won't sell as well as WallStreet will demand and Tim Cook will be forced to step down as CEO shortly afterwards. Apple's standalone TV seems like it's dead, and while I would expect Apple to release a new Apple TV box with gaming functionality in the next year or so, it just seems like Apple is becoming Microsoft (just with a better sense of taste and aesthetics).
  • Reply 12 of 28
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,454member
    . . . I can only imagine . . .

    . . . I just get the feeling . . .

    Samsung's anti-Apple campaign at work.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    so we will talk to this thing, right? No typing on an iPod mini, micro, whatever the small one is called
  • Reply 14 of 28
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Who knows if this rumor is true but if it is then I'm guessing whatever Apple is working on isn't what most people are expecting. If they were working on some iPod nano type watch would they really need to bring in external talent for engineering issues they can't solve?
  • Reply 15 of 28
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member


    This "news" is load of crap. There is no device of that kind that would make any special sense. What is needed is probably a less energy consuming Bluetooth or other PAN-like network communication that would make our life much easier when communicating with phone or tablet. Google glasses market reception shows market does not recognize mainstream need for such or similar gadgets.


     


    iWatch is a TV stuff...

  • Reply 16 of 28
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Who knows if this rumor is true but if it is then I'm guessing whatever Apple is working on isn't what most people are expecting. If they were working on some iPod nano type watch would they really need to bring in external talent for engineering issues they can't solve?

    I'm assuming that the reason they are adding to the team and delaying the launch is because they want to debut it with a flexible display like the patent.

    The tech for that isn't ready yet for mass production.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    asciiascii Posts: 5,518member

    If there's really some issue they can't solve, that's great because it means they're being insanely ambitious. As long as they do eventually solve it of course!


     


    I wonder what the problem (and device!) could be...
  • Reply 18 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,180member
    blackbook wrote: »
    It's true that Samsung or any manufacturer could come out with a smart-watch now, but many won't take the time necessary to get the concept right, hence why every smart watch out today is a niche accessory.

    Apple has the opportunity to do a smart-watch right much like they did the smartphone and tablet "right". I believe if Apple can get the right combination of form and function we'll have another game changer.

    As far as the competition rushing products out in the mean time, they're all going to fail and be no where close to what Apple eventually releases.

    Remember the LG Chocolate which seemed to be an incarnation of all of the "iPod Phone" rumors, or Microsoft's "Slate" push when they caught wind Apple was developing a tablet? All of those preemptive devices from the competition failed because they didn't take time to figure out the market. They just rushed crap products out to cash in on the hype and buzz, and they all eventually failed.

    The upside of Apple taking their own sweet time is both, as you say to get it right, plus Apple giving all the 'get ahead of the next next Apple innovation' types the time to do it. It is giving them the rope to hang themselves. Wasted time, money and credibility and all for nought.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    It's not a watch... you heard it here first.


    Think bracer



     


    Agreed.  It could be a "magic" amulet.  With a full display, it could change color and visuals (think bracelet wallpaper) to match your outfit or current usage.


     


    As for the engineering issues, battery life is probably one.  From experience, having to charge a wearable device makes it less fun after a while, unless they figure out an instant or non-annoying method.

  • Reply 20 of 28
    techguy911techguy911 Posts: 267member


    I really don't see this Apple smart watch happening.  A watch is too much of a fashion accessory to make it into a high-tech device.  People like gadgets when they're computers, tablets, phones, and music players, but I think a watch crosses the line.  Where wearing a gadget watch is too geekish, regulating it to a niche product.  This is also why I think Google Glasses will not go beyond a very small set of tech people too.

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