Apple faithful can expect to wear their allegiance on their wrists as early as this fall, according to a new report that has the long-awaited iWatch is heading into mass production and will make its debut in October of this year.
Since early last year, reports have circulated of an iWatch in development, and a new report from Reuters (h/t: 9to5Mac) says Apple's first foray into the wearable technology segment is ready to go. The report isn't too heavy on details – it is an Apple product, after all – but it's looking like Apple has ironed out all of the kinks and we can expect the iWatch to debut some time in October, possibly alongside the next version of Apple's iPhone.
According to the new report, the iWatch will feature a 2.5-inch display that is "slightly rectangular." The iWatch's watch face will also slightly protrude from the band, giving it an arched shape. As is the case with just about everything Apple nowadays, the iWatch will also have a touchscreen display. What's new, though, is that Apple will apparently build wireless charging capabilities into the device, making the iWatch the first Apple product to have such capabilities.
As to what it will be able to do, sources are saying that it will pair with an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to perform some functions, likely reading incoming messages and responding to them in brief. Things like messaging and voice chat, though, will require a paired smartphone.
The big differentiator for the iWatch, though, might be the way it handles health data. The newest report jibes with previous rumors that Apple would build a heart rate monitor into the iWatch. Pair that with the HealthBook software suite that Apple has included in the latest version of iOS, and that could make for a formidable device.
Apple, of course, is staying mum on whether or not the iWatch exists, but the reports are coming fast and thick as of late. Recently, a New York Times profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook cited sources saying that the iWatch was definitely in development, with a release date scheduled for some time this year.
Reportedly, Apple plans to sell 50 million iWatch units in the first year, and it's likely that the company will leverage its Beats Audio acquisition to make the iWatch the coolest gadget to wear. Tech observers expect Apple to push the iWatch hard, with celebrities and athletes like Kobe Bryant possibly sporting Apple gear prominently.
If and when the iWatch – or New iPod, perhaps – appears, Apple won't be anywhere near alone in the wearables market. Motorola has grabbed a lot of attention recently with its Moto 360 smartwatch, set to release this summer. Also, Apple rival Samsung has flooded the nascent market with Galaxy Gear units, though none of Samsung's efforts seem to have caught on yet. If Apple is truly able to innovate in releasing its own wearable, the iWatch could define and monopolize the segment before anyone else really gets too far out the gate.