Apple on iWatch hiring spree ahead of possible 2014 launch

Apple on iWatch hiring spree ahead of possible 2014 launch

Summary: Apple has reportedly stepped up recruitment for a wrist-mounted device, but there's no word yet on whether the project has got the green light.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware

More grist for the iWatch rumour mill: Apple is reportedly seeking new talent ahead of the possible launch of its wrist-worn hardware.

Before the iWatch: A history of smartwatches, in pictures

Before the iWatch: A history of smartwatches, in pictures

Before the iWatch: A history of smartwatches, in pictures

According to a report in the Financial Times on Monday, Apple began "hiring aggressively" in recent weeks. The staff dedicated to its development now number in the dozens, it added.

The newspaper, which cites unnamed people familiar with the matter, says the recruiting shows the project has encountered "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve".

However, the iWatch is not yet definitely a goer: according to the Financial Times' sources, Apple CEO Tim Cook may yet decided to ditch the project.

Should he press ahead, the paper reckons it will be at least a year before the Apple-branded wristwear hits the shelves, and that the iWatch may not be launched until the end of 2014.

While Apple appears to be ramping up its work on the iWatch, it has been laying the foundations for the project for some time now: patent applications on the iWatch name have been made in Japan, Mexico,  Russia, Taiwan and Turkey while the recent hire of Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on "special projects" has been linked with the device.

Cook has expressed his interest in getting into wearable tech: at the recent D11 conference, he described it as "incredibly interesting", adding : "I think it could be a profound area for technology."

Profound, perhaps, but certainly lucrative: one analyst has pegged the potential iWatch market as being worth $6bn.

Unsurprisingly, a number of Apple's competitors are also looking to get into the smart watch market, including Google and Samsung.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • iWatch market being worth 6 billion?

    The only way that could possibly happen is if Apple convinces people to start wearing watches again. Only a small percentage of people wear watches anymore. Our phones act as a pocket watch and always show accurate time by syncing to the cell network clocks. In my own case, I cannot imagine a single function the iWatch could possibly have which would convince me to start wearing a watch again. Even if it replaced the phone completely, it would still be a bangle on my wrist that catches on things, bangs into objects, leaves an ugly tan line, and has a tiny screen. No thanks.
    • One thing

      I agree with you. I wear NO jewelry so I couldn't see myself wearing a watch, however I did think of a way it could be useful. If it could answer your phone without taking it out that might be interesting. If you cup your ear with your hand your wrist is at proper microphone level. The speaker could be directed upward and your fingers would direct the sound to your ear. Maybe I should patent this. The watch would have to be worn on the inside of the wrist or have speaker /mic built into the band.

      If I could answer a phone by putting my hand to my ear I would wear a watch and I haven't worn a piece of jewelry in 40 years. It would have to work perfectly though. It could be the killer app for a watch accessory.
      • Call it the Secret Service Band

        That's how all security personnel communicate isn't it, into wrist mic's?

        Tbh, I'd rather be seen wearing a b/tooth headset than talking into my wrist, it's a bit last century.
        Little Old Man
    • Sure, if they sell for a billion each.

      Seriously though, it will be highly profiatble, though I just don't think 6 billion worth of profit.

      Maybe the industrty as a whole, then yes on that
      William Farrel
  • It could be the replacement for the iPod Nano 6th gen

    but actually live up to the potential that device should have been given in the first place. Bluetooth connectivity to the iPhone and other smartphones for call screening, texting, emails, and possibly video chat, but also the ability to display info like GPS and function as an auxiliary music player to your phone (with 16 or 32 GB of storage).

    Even then, I don't see it as a device I'd buy if the only option is wrist watch. If I'm out jogging or at the gym, let me clip it to my shirt. Also, as a watch, it would need to be completely waterproof.