Report: Apple May Have Over 100 Staff Working on Smartwatch

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In recent days, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have published reports about the possibility of an Apple smartwatch. Now, a new report from yet another well-regarded business journal claims to have new information that supports rumors of device loosely known as the “iWatch.”

The new report, which claims that Apple has “100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad” comes from Bloomberg, which cited a source familiar with Apple’s plans. According to the source, the team working on the device includes members of the company’s iPhone and iPad software and hardware team, as well as staff dedicated to marketing the device. If true, such a large and multi-tiered team would indicate that, contrary to previous reports, Apple has likely exited the experimental phase of working on the device and could be prepping for an upcoming product launch.

While Apple has remained silent on the rampant rumors of an iWatch, this new report is the first to go as far as actually naming internal staff supposedly working on the rumored device, identifying James Foster, the company’s senior director of engineering, and another manager, Achim Pantfoerder, as central to the efforts to produce the device.

Of course there are others in tech circles who believe these recent rumors are nothing more than calculated leaks from Apple itself, a clever way of testing the market reaction to the notion of an Apple smartwatch. Still others are wondering if this is one of Apple’s oft-mentioned deliberately planted bits of false information designed to ferret out an internal leak.

Whether these rumors of an iWatch turn out to be true or not, the speculation has nevertheless sparked discussion surrounding what kind of wearable tech mainstream consumers might prefer: a pair of glasses, a la Google Glass, or a wrist-mounted device like the rumored iWatch. So far, the consensus seems to be that a wrist device would have a better chance at wider adoption among mainstream consumers rather than something you’d always have to wear on your face.

Even Bloomberg’s own addition to the iWatch saga includes similar thoughts from a well-known fund manager, Josh Spencer at T. Rowe Price Group, who said, “There’s more people that would wear an Apple watch than would wear Google glasses.” These sentiments should, at the very least, give Apple something to consider if the iWatch reports turn out to be nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of analysts and tech enthusiasts anxiously waiting for the company’s next flourish of commercial innovation.

By Adario Strange, PCMag


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