The Apple iWatch smartwatch is the subject of renewed rumor and speculation this morning, with Intel of all companies now being attached to the project. Low power Bluetooth 4.0 is along for the ride as well, of course, so it can instantly pair with an iPhone or iPad, as well as a 1.5-inch display, and a supposed release window pegged at the first half of 2013. In other words, soon. All this according to TGBUS (Google Translated):
Supply chain, said Intel is designed for Apple Bluetooth smart watches, this product is RiTdisplay 1.5-inch OLED screen, other aspects of the supply chain, with a rhenium ocean of OGS encore indium tin oxide transparent conductive (ITO) glass.
The Intel angle here is interesting. While Apple's Mac computer lines currently all still have Intel inside, Apple hasn't done anything significant with Intel on their iOS device line. Likewise, the OLED display rumor, as Apple has thus far eschewed that technology for LED.
Rumors of an iWatch, while not as persistent as iTV television rumors, began picking up speed when Apple announced the square, more iOS-looking 2010 iPod nano and Steve Jobs quipped that board members wanted to wear them as watches. Speculation immediately leapt to a future filled with light, wearable iOS devices, piggy-backing off the more powerful devices in our pockets and bags, passing on Siri instructions and getting back our notifications and other data.
Many watchband accessories and flights of fancy later, the iPod nano finally gained a Bluetooth radio in 2012... just as Apple changed its shape back to a far less watch-friendly rectangle. That could be a sign of Apple moving away from wearable iOS devices, or just shifting the nano away from wearability to leave room for something else. (Also, head fake.)
Apple is increasingly seen by financial markets, and the media, as a hit-driven business, and the moment they announce one new product, questions immediately spring up about "what's next?!". The iPad mini has shipped, so TVs, watches, and all manner of other products are ripe for the research notes and rumor mills alike.
Given the popularity of the nano-as-watch, and of other connected watch-style devices, like the television, it's hard to imagine that Apple doesn't have a project or prototype or several in the labs. Also like the television, that's a far cry from going to market with an final, polished product.
But it does raise the question -- do you want an iWatch from Apple?