July 15, 2013
Apple Takes Aggressive Approach On iWatch Campaign
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Apple is taking an "aggressive" approach toward its "iWatch" project, hiring a host of fresh talent to make the device -- slated for a 2014 launch -- a reality, according to a Financial Times (FT) report over the weekend.
The article adds to the mounting expectation of this product, which has only existed in rumors thus far. Noting this is allegedly Apple's first product since the passing of co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, the FT article questions Apple's ability to rely on its own engineers to develop the wearable technology.
Though it's suggested Apple's engineers might not be able to find a way to deliver this watch any time before 2014, the report also says Apple is keen to keep those engineers who have experience with the watch on the team, despite their hiring spree. The FT article also states Apple currently has "several dozen" employees working on the project.
Apple recently hired former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on "special projects" at the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant and many believe he will be working on the iWatch as well. Apple has also been pushing to get the "iWatch" trademark registered all over the world, including Japan, Mexico and Russia.
Sources familiar with the matter told FT that the rumored "iWatch" has presented Apple employees with "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve." This could be, suggests FT, particularly difficult for a team which has become accustomed to building solid devices such as iPads, iPhones and iPods.
A patent filing discovered last February suggests the iWatch -- a name given to this rumored product by the media -- could boast a fully flexible touchscreen display that wraps around the wrist like a slap bracelet. Some have also claimed the entire watch could be made of glass and act as a fully formed display.
FT also claims one "senior member" of the iWatch team had considered leaving the company but was offered a hefty pay increase if that person stayed, suggesting Apple is taking the project quite seriously and is willing to protect its secrets. Though the company is taking it seriously, Apple CEO Tim Cook could still decide to ultimately scrap the project if it doesn't live up to Apple's standards.
Cook casually hinted towards the possibility of an iWatch in two previous public statements at the All Things D conference and in an earnings report call. During the May conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal's All Things D, Cook called the area of wearable technology "interesting" and "ripe for exploration" but stopped short of explaining Apple's plans for the new market.
"We have some incredible plans that we have been working on for a whileâ€¦we have several more game changers in us," said Cook.
One month earlier, Cook also told investors that the company was hard at work on new hardware to be introduced this fall and into 2014. He also made mention of potential growth in a new category, a statement which many believe to be about an iWatch.
Though the iWatch name was originally developed by members of the media writing about this rumored product, Apple has spent recent months working to get this trademark registered in several countries.
Bloomberg discovered earlier this month that the company first filed trademark papers with Japan's Patent Office at the beginning of June.
AppleInsider pointed out that Apple filed for the same trademark in Russia two days prior.