Reuters: iWatch to hit in October with wireless charging, 2.5-inch screen, pulse sensor

One of many iWatch concepts.

Reuters is out with a report today that claims the iWatch is going into production this month for a launch in October. The device is reportedly expecting to hit 50 million units produced in its first year.

The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product’s release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.

Seeing that Apple sold 71 million iPads in the entirety of 2013, 50 million units sounds aggressive. The site also shares some features that it has learned about the device:

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iPhone 6 likely to sport barometer/air pressure sensors to measure altitude, weather

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Besides a larger display and redesigned metal body, details regarding which features the next-generation iPhone models will pack have been light. However, it appears that the new models could include a new sensor: a barometer.

A barometer is a sensor commonly used for measuring altitude and the sensor is already commonly found in Android devices such as the Galaxy Nexus. A barometer sensor could be used by hikers, mountain climbers, bike riders, and enthusiasts who want accurate knowledge into their current altitude. Barometers, via air pressure data, also measure temperature and weather information.

The information regarding the next-generation iPhone likely including this sensor comes via Xcode 6 and iOS 8, the latest iPhone software development kit and operating system. The software includes updated CoreMotion APIs that clearly reference the new altitude measuring capabilities:

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Photos: Purported physical mockups for new iPad Air show recessed volume rocker & Touch ID

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Somewhat unsurprisingly, photos of physical mockups (dummy units) purportedly representing the next-generation full-sized iPad Air have surfaced. This comes after several weeks of iPhone 6 dummy shots that solely differ by camera angles. These units are generally created by case makers, so they may have some inaccuracies. Nonetheless, here’s what whoever made these physical mockups is expecting based on whatever information they obtained from the Apple supply chain. As you can see in the image above, the next Air appears to be nearly identical in design to the current Air. More images below:

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iOS 8 builds in the technologies Apple needs for an iWatch

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iOS 8 adds several important enhancements to the iPhone and iPad, such as improved notifications, health-tracking, and a more advanced camera application, but the new operating system’s most significant feature may be the groundwork technologies for a future Apple wearable device that integrates deeply with the iPhone.

No matter if it is called the “iWatch,” “iBand,” “iPod,” or something else entirely, a wrist-worn Apple wearable device will likely be announced in October, and the software it will run will set the scope of its capabilities. Besides the new functionality for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 8 includes many new wireless protocols, applications, and features that open the door to several capabilities for a wearable device.

Let’s take a look at how each major iOS 8 feature plays directly into Apple’s ambitions for a wearable computer, below.

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FDA details high-level meeting with Apple: “Moral obligation to do more” with health, innovative sensors

iWatch-Concept-future-05Following Apple employees’ meeting with the FDA to discuss “mobile medical applications” earlier this year, AppleToolbox has published a response from the FDA to a Freedom of Information Act Request asking for more information about what was discussed.

A response to the request took three months to complete, and arrived just after Apple introduced its new HealthKit platform and Health app for iOS 8 last week. While much the FDA’s answer sounds like Apple was discussing HealthKit, the response also gives some interesting clues that Apple is working on health products that go beyond the sensors currently in the iPhone and iPad:

With the potential for more sensors on mobile devices, Apple believes there is the opportunity to do more with devices, and that there may be a moral obligation to do more… Sensors already exist on medical devices. For instance, Apple’s devices have cameras and accelerometers. There is still an opportunity to innovate, but Apple wants to make sure they are on the side of the FDA.

So we can assume Apple was likely meeting with the FDA for HealthKit, which takes advantage of the iPhone’s sensors and data collected by third-party apps through already available accessories, but it was also discussing implications of possibly tapping into additional sensors and doing more in the way of measuring health data. It won’t be any surprise to those that have followed our reports on iWatch as far back as last year, and we’ve continued following as Apple builds a team of medical, fitness, and sensor experts to work on the project. Read more

Report corroborates Apple planning to announce new wearable product in October

One of many iWatch concepts.

One of many iWatch concepts.

Re/code’s John Paczkowski is reporting that Apple is set to announce its new wearable product in October, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans. The site says that the watch will take full advantage of HealthKit and Health, Apple’s fitness and health management app introduced in iOS 8.

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Latest iWatch rumor: October launch, curved display, Apple expecting to sell 3-5M a month

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The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Apple will launch its iWatch in October, rather than alongside the iPhone 6 in September as has been widely expected. It’s also citing unnamed “industry sources” as saying that the watch will have a curved, OLED touchscreen and that Apple is planning on producing 3-5M units a month.

According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year. This confidence is backed by its partnerships with high-profile hospitals — it has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic …

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Analyst goes to Taiwan, says iWatch has a round face; will be more than one model

Moto360

Rossenblatt Securities analyst Brian Blair is citing supply chain sources in Taiwan in stating that the iWatch has a round display, and is similar in design to the Moto 360 smartwatch shown above in a Motorola teaser image, but with a slimmer profile, reports Business Insider.

According to his supply chain sources, the iWatch will have a round face. Many people were expecting it to have a rectangular face, but Blair’s sources tell him it’s going to be round, like a normal watch

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LA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant seen on Apple’s Campus reportedly meeting with Jony Ive about upcoming products

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It is always fun when we get celebrity Apple tips, but those usually revolve around Samsung endorsers using an iPhone. Today we received something a little more interesting.

An Apple tipster sent in an image of Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant with his wife Vanessa today on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California. The pair met with Jony Ive’s team according to the tipster and the scuttlebutt is that the meeting centered around upcoming products. Apple’s campus is clearly recognizable in the background of the photo and the couple can be seen waiting for food. We can’t verify the topic of conversation with Ive but the picture is embedded with a geotag that confirms the photo was taken with an iPhone on Apple’s campus. Kobe’s watch matches a previous publicly available image you can see in the inset…

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Opinion: What is Apple’s thinking in spending $3.2B on buying Beats?

beats

Apple’s apparent purchase of Beats took everyone by surprise. I must confess that my immediate reaction was to be slightly appalled. As someone whose audio tastes run more to B&O and B+W, I’ve always viewed Beats headphones as over-bassed, over-priced fashion items. But then my tastes in music admittedly differ somewhat from those of the typical Beats customer.

Even so, it’s still a little baffling at first glance. Tim Cook himself said a year ago that Apple asks two questions when considering an acquisition:

Would it help us make a great product, and would the culture fit at Apple?

My immediate answer to both would be “no,” so why would Apple spend $3.2B on a headphone manufacturer with a small sideline streaming music service … ?  Read more