Apple's 'iWatch' to have round face, will largely supplant iPod business, analyst says

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2014
Citing sources within the Asia tech supply chain, one analyst believes he has more specifics about Apple's anticipated wearable "iWatch," including shipments for 2014, and how the product will fit into the company's lineup.

Android Wear concept
Motorola's Moto 360 Android Wear-powered smart watch | Source: Google


Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities issued a note to investors on Wednesday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, in which he said the wrist-worn "iWatch" is expected to have a round face. According to Blair, Apple's approach will have a "slimmer profile" than Motorola's already-announced round Moto 360 watch, which is scheduled to debut this summer on Google's Android Wear platform.

Blair anticipates that Apple will build between 18 million and 21 million "iWatch" units in the second half of 2014, with device production to begin in late July or early August. He believes those production estimates have increased within Apple's supply chain over the past month.

Sources also indicated to Blair that manufacturing of the anticipated wearable device will be handled by Taiwan's Quanta Computer, and not Apple's regular manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Blair's contacts also indicated that Apple has built multiple models of the "iWatch," including "one that used a sapphire screen." He did not indicate how many models might make it to market, or whether the sapphire screen made it past a test phase.

The analyst noted that Apple did not refresh its iPod lineup in 2013, which he believes positions the "iWatch" to largely supplant the company's declining iPod business.

Speculation has been mounting for years that Apple may soon enter the growing wearable devices market with its own smart wrist watch. Anticipation of such a device has been bolstered by a number of patents and investments from the company.

The so-called "iWatch" is expected to focus on health and fitness for users, going beyond simple step counting to measure biometrics data from a user's wrist. Those claims have been supported by a number of hires made by Apple in the fitness and medicine fields, as well as fashion-related hires that may signal an interest in visually appealing wearable devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,734member
    ????...
  • Reply 2 of 62
    mrpezmanmrpezman Posts: 10member
    I for one am very excited for this product ... Assuming it is not a piece of fiction.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    awilliams87awilliams87 Posts: 264member

    If it's truly a "smart watch" with a round head and not a fitness band, count me out.

  • Reply 4 of 62
    mrpezmanmrpezman Posts: 10member
    If it's truly a "smart watch" with a round head and not a fitness band, count me out.

    It will be both...
  • Reply 5 of 62
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    People don't mind having the same phone as others, but often die of embarrassment if another person is wearing exactly the same clothes. A watch is on the boundary of these two categories, so is it embarrassing or ok to have the same watch?

  • Reply 6 of 62
    stargazerctstargazerct Posts: 227member
    I don't see Johnny Ives designing a boring round watch. Rumors and speculation all in the name of page hits.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Thank god it's not the AI rendered bracelets- those were trés gai.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member

    Their first product will be a fitness band that comes with wireless earbuds. It's designed to replace all the iPods out there that people use for exercising, most specifically the iPod shuffle and nano, so it will have at least 4GB of storage for music and other data. Both the earbuds and the fitness band will have many sensors for tracking health and motion. The band will also have an M7 processor to detect gestures and record data for later upload to either your computer or iOS device. The earbuds will feed sensor data to the M7 on the band to allow the use of head gestures to control music playback and/or volume without using your hands - or even a gesture to have the band tell you health related data; heart rate, dehydration level, etc.

     

    Rather than use removable batteries or plugging in to charge, both the earbuds and band will use inductive charging to recharge their batteries.

     

    Why does this make sense? iPod shuffle and nano sales have been in decline for a while now. While they still sell in the millions, a large majority of people see no need to upgrade to a newer model when their current model works just fine. Releasing something smaller and less intrusive with health monitoring abilities would be a huge incentive to all those people to move onto something new, thus, supplanting iPod sales.

  • Reply 9 of 62
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 214member
    @ascii - It depends on how secure you are in yourself. If your view of yourself depends on your possessions then it is not ok. But if your possessions do not define yourself esteem, then you can have and display anything.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    boblehbobleh Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    I don't see Johnny Ives designing a boring round watch. Rumors and speculation all in the name of page hits.



    Exactly. Apple's new product categories are revolutionary, futuristic and causing surprise and delight as opposed to being traditional, classic and feeling familiar and boring.

     

    The supply chain for existing products might be leaky but iWatch as an extremely secretive project is pre-announcement surely far away from the loose-lipped mass production environment.

  • Reply 11 of 62
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     

    Their first product will be a fitness band that comes with wireless earbuds. It's designed to replace all the iPods out there that people use for exercising, most specifically the iPod shuffle and nano, so it will have at least 4GB of storage for music and other data. Both the earbuds and the fitness band will have many sensors for tracking health and motion. The band will also have an M7 processor to detect gestures and record data for later upload to either your computer or iOS device. The earbuds will feed sensor data to the M7 on the band to allow the use of head gestures to control music playback and/or volume without using your hands.

     

    Rather than use removable batteries or plugging in to charge, both the earbuds and band will use inductive charging to recharge their batteries.

     

    Why does this make sense? iPod shuffle and nano sales have been in decline for a while now. While they still sell in the millions, a large majority of people see no need to upgrade to a newer model when their current model works just fine. Releasing something smaller and less intrusive with health monitoring abilities would be a huge incentive to all those people to move onto something new, thus, supplanting iPod sales.


    Your analysis makes the most sense of anything I have heard to date. This could very well be the target market for Apple, it will replace another items most health conscious individuals deal with today. If Apple can replace a number devices people use when competing or exercising this could be a winner for them.

  • Reply 12 of 62
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 214member
    Your view of the iWatch makes me hope you are correct. Very well written.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

     

    People don't mind having the same phone as others, but often die of embarrassment if another person is wearing exactly the same clothes. A watch is on the boundary of these two categories, so is it embarrassing or ok to have the same watch?


     

    That is easily remedied by having different color backgrounds on the screen. People can choose whatever watch face they want whether it be mickey mouse or plain black.

  • Reply 14 of 62
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     

    Their first product will be a fitness band that comes with wireless earbuds. It's designed to replace all the iPods out there that people use for exercising, most specifically the iPod shuffle and nano, so it will have at least 4GB of storage for music and other data. Both the earbuds and the fitness band will have many sensors for tracking health and motion. The band will also have an M7 processor to detect gestures and record data for later upload to either your computer or iOS device. The earbuds will feed sensor data to the M7 on the band to allow the use of head gestures to control music playback and/or volume without using your hands.

     

    Rather than use removable batteries or plugging in to charge, both the earbuds and band will use inductive charging to recharge their batteries.

     

    Why does this make sense? iPod shuffle and nano sales have been in decline for a while now. While they still sell in the millions, a large majority of people see no need to upgrade to a newer model when their current model works just fine. Releasing something smaller and less intrusive with health monitoring abilities would be a huge incentive to all those people to move onto something new, thus, supplanting iPod sales.


     

     

    I agree with this. 

     

    The iWatch is being made as an iPod replacement.

     

    The benefits of the iWatch over the iPods is the health and sensor data, as well as connectivity to iPhones and iPads.

     

    Apple will finally give smart watches a purpose, because currently most consumers don't see a need for them.

  • Reply 15 of 62
    boblehbobleh Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     

    Their first product will be a fitness band that comes with wireless earbuds. It's designed to replace all the iPods out there that people use for exercising, most specifically the iPod shuffle and nano, so it will have at least 4GB of storage for music and other data. Both the earbuds and the fitness band will have many sensors for tracking health and motion. The band will also have an M7 processor to detect gestures and record data for later upload to either your computer or iOS device. The earbuds will feed sensor data to the M7 on the band to allow the use of head gestures to control music playback and/or volume without using your hands.

     

    Rather than use removable batteries or plugging in to charge, both the earbuds and band will use inductive charging to recharge their batteries.

     

    Why does this make sense? iPod shuffle and nano sales have been in decline for a while now. While they still sell in the millions, a large majority of people see no need to upgrade to a newer model when their current model works just fine. Releasing something smaller and less intrusive with health monitoring abilities would be a huge incentive to all those people to move onto something new, thus, supplanting iPod sales.




    Fitness and music will surely be a big focus. The wearable factor will make the iWatch a natural, perfectly located music remote control. The wireless earbuds are a must, then, but this can put a big strain on the battery. However, the wearable factor is well suited for using the emerging built-in screen solar cells technology to help on that side.

  • Reply 16 of 62
    neilmneilm Posts: 574member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    I don't see Johnny Ives designing a boring round watch.

     

    Maybe it's an interesting round watch.

  • Reply 17 of 62
    schlackschlack Posts: 683member
    i see this working with a configurator:

    1. chose watch storage (16/32/64gb)
    2. chose watch size/style
    3. chose watch face material
    4. chose watch band material/color

    goal would need to be to have 100 diff configs avail for individuality
  • Reply 18 of 62
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    Latest rumor: iWatch by Beats by Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    mactmact Posts: 26member
    I think my age finally caught up with me. Having been one of the first buyers for all sorts of tech over the last 40 years, I just don't see any reason to buy an iWatch. Ah well, I can put the money aside for my orbital trip with Virgin.
  • Reply 20 of 62
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member

    If this smartwatch will interface with their (rumored) home automation initiative, also contains health functions, as well as other select apps that communicate with the phone, then the "why the **** should this exist" question can be answered I think- it would definitely be something very useful with functionality that could NOT be replicated with the same efficiency as a phone. 

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