As far as product endorsers go, they don’t come much bigger than Kobe Bryant, and the basketball legend was recently spotted lounging on the campus of the biggest name in technology, Apple. Could we see the Lakers star maybe sporting an iWatch in the near future?
Given the Lakers’ spectacularly awful season this year, Kobe has had more of the summer off than he typically does, and the Lakers guard was spotted by a 9to5Mac tipster on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California. Bryant was there along with wife Vanessa – they’re still married; who knew? – and the two were captured lounging in the shade before reportedly going on to meet with Apple design guru Jony Ive’s team.
Now just what would Kobe Bryant be doing meeting with Jony Ive, who designed the iMac, iPhone, iPad, and just about every other device that Apple has come out with over the past decade or more? Kobe, as 9to5 points out, is a big-time Nike spokesperson. Apple CEO Tim Cook also sits on Nike’s board of directors, and Apple is rumored to be partnering with Nike on future devices.
Just which devices? The mythical iWatch, of course. Nike is believed to have ceased development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, and rumor has it inside tech circles that the big N did so because it knows Apple has a world-beating iWatch in the offing.
While developments like Android Wear are focused on making your watch into an extension of your smartphone, Apple’s rumored iWatch is said to have a greater focus on fitness. The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system is said to feature a component known as Healthbook, which tracks a user’s activity levels and other health metrics. Pair that feature with, say, a motion-tracking, heart rate-monitoring, super-stylish iWatch, and you could have another tech phenom in the making.
(Our pet theory has Tim Cook taking the stage some time soon and revealing a watch that does all of those things but is not called an iWatch. Instead, it is called the New iPod.)
While Apple has tremendous cachet in terms of smartphones, computers, and more, there’s been some speculation that the tech giant could have a tougher time cracking the world of wearable technology. An Apple device would, no doubt, be lovely to look at, but Apple reportedly wants to ensure that its iWatch is the must have fashion accessory of the year. Enter Kobe, Beats Electronics, and in all likelihood a panoply of other celebrities.
The Cupertino Kobe Bryant siting isn’t an absolute affirmation of a forthcoming Kobe iWatch endorsement, but it definitely seems possible. Kobe already endorses watches from Swiss manufacturer Hublot, but it’s uncertain whether Bryant’s contract with that firm is exclusive or not.
So coming months will almost certainly see refreshed versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, but Apple may also be looking to roll out some new products in the near future as well. If Kobe’s appearance at the Apple campus is anything to go on, Apple could be relying on one of the biggest names in sports to spread the word on some new sporty tech.
Lead photo credit: Aaron Frutman via Photopin cc.