Apple’s first smartwatch – dubbed the iWatch – may be unveiled as soon as next month alongside the much-anticipated iPhone 6. Technology news site Re/code has reported the tech giant will announce a brand new wearable device on September 9.
The report follows the publication on Wednesday by French tech blog Nowhere Else of images appearing to confirm the availability of the next-generation iPhones on the same day.
Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) is seldom first with new technologies, yet it’s been able to create huge product categories. The company did that with iPods for the MP3 player market in 2001, iPhones for the smartphone industry in 2007 and iPads for tablets in 2010.
Now the Cupertino, California-based company will attempt to repeat that feat in wearables, an emerging group of devices that track people’s activity and health. Apple will introduce a wearable gadget along with new iPhones on Sept. 9, a person with knowledge of the plans said. Notices for the event, which will also take place in Cupertino, were sent out today.
Apple declined to comment beyond the e-mailed invitation, which said: “Wish we could say more.”
Many analysts expect Apple may produce somethinga little more sophisticatedthan its rivals in its first foray into the wearables space, especially given the long lag time on a release.
For the past year or so Apple has been busily hiring all manner ofhealth and technology experts, from sleep and fitness specialists to those who are building non-invasive technologies to analyse blood and measure one’s pulse.
At its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, Apple unveiled HealthKit and HomeKit, developer tools for underpinning new apps for wearable and connected devices.
Re/code predicted the iWatch was likely to “make good use of” both HealthKit and HomeKit – a “framework for communicating with and controlling connected devices in a user’s home”, also unveiled at WWDC.
As to what the iWatch will look like, Apple has managed to keep it a closely guarded secret.
Artists impressions of the forthcoming device have varied from a device with a more traditional circular face to those with a squarer, flexible AMOLED display.
Rival electronics manufacturer LG is reportedly about to reveal a smartwatch in the classic shape of an analog timepiece.
Engadget reports LG will next week introduce a round-faced sequel to its first Wear watch, a square affair. It’s new offering will be called the Wear R, the R a reference to the round shape.
Engadget said the circular Moto 360 was the best-received Android Wear smartwatch introduced at Google’s developer conference in June.
Previous rumours held that Apple was planning to unveil its iWatch at an event in October.
However Re/code’s John Paczkowski speculated that, with its self-described “best product pipeline” in 25 years, Apple “should have more than enough hardware to fill two events”.
Invitations to Apple product launch events typically surface a week beforehand, though none have appeared as yet.