Rumor: 'iWatch' to sport curved OLED touchscreen, Apple 'confident' and building up to 5M per month

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 2014
Apple's fabled iWatch is likely to launch in October, a new report claims, sporting a curved organic light-emitting diode touchscreen and collecting health-related data ranging from sleep activity all the way to blood oxygen levels.

iWatch concept


Apple is said to appear very "confident" in the product, with plans to build 3 million to 5 million units per month, according to Nikkei. If true, that would exceed the total worldwide sales of smart watches estimated to have been sold in the entirety of 2013.

To put the numbers in perspective, Apple sold 14.8 million iPads in that product's first 12 months -- a number considered to be a rousing success.

In addition to sleep activity and blood oxygen levels, the report claims the wrist-worn device will also track calorie consumption and blood glucose, and will allow users to read messages from their connected iPhone. Apple is also said to have partnered with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic to analyze collected data and find ways to make it more useful for users.

The report also suggests that Nike's anticipated exit from the wearable devices market will mean a closer partnership with Apple on the so-called "iWatch." It was said that Nike is looking to focus more on services and less on building hardware.

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


The "iWatch" is rumored to run a version of Apple's iOS mobile operating system. The latest version of that platform, iOS 8, was unveiled at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple has been rumored to be interested in OLED displays for years, but as of yet the company has stuck with LCD panels with in-plane switching. Still, the company has a number of OLED-related patents to its name, including dynamic brightness adjustment and improved power efficiency. The company also hired away a senior OLED researcher from LG Display.

In an OLED screen, each pixel is made of an organic compound that emits light when electrical current is passed through it. Because of this design, OLED panels don't require a backlight, making them thinner and lighter than traditional LCD-based panels and adding the potential to be folded or curved.

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


The inclusion of a flexible OLED would allow for a more form-fitting design in which the screen could curve with the contours of the wearer's wrist, rather than sitting flat on the top.

Friday's report isn't the first time that Apple has been rumored to use flexible OLED displays for its anticipated smart wrist accessory. One report in January claimed that LG would manufacture such screens for Apple in time for a late 2014 launch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    peejaybeepeejaybee Posts: 52member
    My theory here is that Apple have worked out a way to curve a round screen in BOTH directions. Just a subtle curve, but imagine a slight convexed domed sapphire glass watch, where the screen behind tracks that shape - it would be beautiful.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,119member
    [I]Apple is said to appear very "confident" in the product, with plans to build 3 million to 5 million units per month, according to Nikkei. If true, that would exceed the total worldwide sales of smart watches estimated to have been sold in the entirety of 2013.[/I]

    When I read this, an immediate thought was Samsung will claim to have shipped two-three times that number of smart watches.

    As I wrote this reply, I smiled about Strategy Analytics, IDC, Gartner and others finding white box watches that can be somehow be called smart watches in attempts to make certain Apple is perceived to be lagging the competition.

    Oh well. Happy Friday!
  • Reply 3 of 45
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Track blood glucose but not continuously measure. There is presently no available non invasive technology that can reliably measure blood glucose on a continous basis. Technology that can measure glucose on a continous basis need frequent calibration which kind of defeats the point.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,849member
    Bull.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    Still won't wear a watch or any wrist strapped device. If I can clip it on someplace, great. Otherwise I won't wear it. I'm hoping this device is more like the 5th gen iPod nano that has a clip but could be used as a watch. To me that tackles a much broader user-base.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    5 Million per month?   :wow:

    Not many items to assemble then. All come as package in that flexible electronic board. Huh?

  • Reply 7 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,799member

    Hypochondriacs everywhere will be ecstatic, no, orgasmic when this is released. “Doctor, my iWatch says I’m sick.”

  • Reply 8 of 45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Apple is said to [have] plans to build 3 million to 5 million units per month, according to Nikkei

     

    Somehow AppleInsider has confounded rumor with history. No big surprise, really, but I do think there is a big difference between being said to have plans, and being said to be "building 5M per month", as stated in the title of the article.

     

    The really bad part is that we've not seen a product refresh in the iWatch line in well over a year. This may be why sales are so low. It appears Apple has run out of ideas for it and the iWatch is stagnating. One wonders how long Apple can stuff the channel with product, when it isn't selling well at all.  /s.

  • Reply 9 of 45
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 44member
    antkm1 wrote: »
    Still won't wear a watch or any wrist strapped device. If I can clip it on someplace, great. Otherwise I won't wear it. I'm hoping this device is more like the 5th gen iPod nano that has a clip but could be used as a watch. To me that tackles a much broader user-base.
    Looks like you won't be buying a iWatch!
  • Reply 10 of 45
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,664member
    So a rumored product has rumored components, a rumored volume manu rate and a rumored release date.
    Analysts thinks it's rumored to be more successful than the iPad? Yea, right.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) I don't understand the use of "curved OLED" in the title and "flexible OLED" in the body. I hope AI isn't interchanging this terms as if they are mean the same thing.

    2) I don't know how believable this rumour is but I've been saying that OLED is probably the best way to go with the iWatch concept because the display can be almost entire black to conserve power while also showing data on screen, like a simple and elegant watch face or text, and because the black will be very deep, not just a near-black dark-grey, thereby helping it look more jewelry-like.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    5 million a month? Only if it is an iPod, costs less than $100, and one charge lasts for a whole week.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    schlackschlack Posts: 686member
    excited to see what they release.

    but...i would rather wear a sensor laden arm band that's flexible and light and out of sight that pushes biometrics to my iphone than a watch that's heavy, visible, and seeks to get my attention by pushing info from my phone to me.

    wish apple would work on this instead.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    Fascinating. People have been trying very hard for a non-invasive glucose monitoring since the 1970s. Apple doing scientific research? This would be HUGE if it works.

    Check this out

    http://www.google.com/patents/US8606342

    a California company patent purporting to have an answer combining multi-wavelength near infra-red spec readings and some serious matrix computations.

    A pulse and active pulse spectraphotometry system comprises a light source adapted to illuminate a tissue site with optical radiation having a plurality of wavelengths selected from at least one of a primary band of about 1620 nm to about 1730 nm and a secondary band of about 1000 nm to about 1380 nm.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    elfig2012elfig2012 Posts: 52member
    And here we go again, RUMORS until october ..?

    On WWDC not a word about hardware not even small updates about products, 3 days later the rumors start again, I think that Tim Cook must be having a lot of fun with all these websites guessing all the time.

    Can AppleInsider please stick to FACTS please, otherwise what's the point ?
    this is a NEWS site, not a best-guess rumor site.

    Only my view, that's all, may be someone reads and reacts on this.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post



    Track blood glucose but not continuously measure. There is presently no available non invasive technology that can reliably measure blood glucose on a continous basis. Technology that can measure glucose on a continous basis need frequent calibration which kind of defeats the point.

     

    Calibration becomes (vitally) important once one attempts to assign real world numbers to sensed data. You raise an interesting point. :-)

  • Reply 17 of 45
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) I don't understand the use of "curved OLED" in the title and "flexible OLED" in the body. I hope AI isn't interchanging this terms as if they are mean the same thing...



    ...helping it look more jewelry-like.

     

    Would have thought 'curved' rather than 'flexible'. Sensors would need to be in close proximity to the skin. A greater number of sensors or sensor area would require more contact area.

     

    I still favour dress watch, less display, as we have previously discussed.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    The iwatch has to work under water. I never take my watch off. Shower and swim daily. An old Timex, I replace the wristband every two years.

    The iwatch will have to be something special to get me to dump the Timex.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post



    The iwatch has to work under water. I never take my watch off. Shower and swim daily. An old Timex, I replace the wristband every two years.



    The iwatch will have to be something special to get me to dump the Timex.

     

    There's no imperative for an iWatch to sport an opening or seal of any kind. In fact, disappointing if it does.

  • Reply 20 of 45
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Still not seeing a lot to believe in the watch rumors, but if they are in fact building one, and they are in fact looking forward to 5 million or even 3 million a month, it seems like it must be relatively inexpensive. But looking at the claims of the bold and sensors and capabilities in various rumors that seems unlikely.

    This isn't a phone they can subsidize, and it won't have the iPad advantage of being seen as a possible laptop replacement for less money. I am just not sure how the cost verses capability verses predicted sales numbers can all line up.

    But it is Apple....
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