Currently there are a number of "smart" watches on the market that connect to Android-based smartphones via Bluetooth. These devices merely serve to extend the mobile device functionality by flashing push notifications like the latest email received, incoming call info and more. Sony's SmartWatch is a good example, pushing music control, weather information, Twitter alerts and more to the user's wrist.
A new rumor has surfaced reporting that Apple has teamed up with Intel to create the iWatch for a 2013 release. While the idea of an iOS-based watch makes total sense for the fruity company, teaming up with Intel does not given that Apple has yet to rely on the x86 chip giant in its mobile product lineup. The team-up seems even more less likely given that the watch will reportedly connect to an ARM-based iPhone and iPad via a Bluetooth connection.
According to the rumor, the iWatch will come packed with a 1.5-inch PMOLED display made by RiTDisplays and protected by ITO-coated glass. Bluetooth 4.0 will be used to transfer information from the mobile device to the watch itself. Unfortunately, that's it for actual details, leaving the rest of the spec list open to speculation.
The Smart Watch sector is an emerging market, one that may take flight in 2013 if there's enough interest. Apple will undoubtedly want to transform this market much like it did with the smartphone and tablet sectors, creating a high demand for a gadget consumers previously thought they could live without. The iWatch will need its own apps to install and internal storage so that users can take their music anywhere without having to rely on an iPhone or iPad connection.
SlashGear points out that Apple's blocky 6th-generation iPod Nano (opens in new tab) has been extremely popular as a watch, much so that Apple has released several watch faces. This model, which looks like a watch without a band, features an ARM-based Samsung SoC, and a 1.54-inch (diagonal) color TFT display with 240 x 240-pixel resolution (220 pixels per inch). Its overall size is 1.48 (H) x 1.61 (W) x 0.35 (D) -inches, and there are even straps for sale that can turn it into a wearable device.
Apple may already be aware that there's a demand for an iOS-based smart watch. The 6th generation iPod Nano is still selling extremely well – and for a high price – despite that it was officially discontinued on September 12, 2012. For example, a used 8 GB version is still selling on Amazon for $130 USD whereas Best Buy is selling the new 7th generation iPod Nano 16 GB model for $140 (opens in new tab).
Still, it will be interesting to see how the involvement with Intel will play out -- if the rumor is true -- given the chip giant had nothing to do with the current iPod Nano. Would you wear a Smart Watch offered by Apple?