As Apple Inc. continues development of the iWatch, the company is reportedly working out some kinks along the way. Rumors of the pending product have been circulating the industry for years now, but have really picked up steam over the past year. Originally, it was speculated that the iWatch would be released by the end of 2013, but now industry watchers are guessing that it is more likely to debut in the second half of 2014.
As Apple competitor Samsung has already released its Galaxy Gear, Apple insiders are no doubt anxious to get their own futuristic timepiece up and running. Wearable watch-like devices are the talk of the town at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week as well.
According to the latest reports and rumors, Apple is having difficulty with the iWatch on several fronts. One reported issue is the battery life. The device is said “to utilize a 100mAH battery that is comparable to the 105mAh battery in the sixth-generation iPod nano.” Apple reportedly hopes that the device will be capable of operating for four to five days before requiring a charge, but according to last year’s reports was having difficulty getting beyond two to three days maximum. Rumors have also circulated that wireless charging could be a reality for the iWatch.
Another reported struggle is with the screen. Developers are apparently having trouble deciding on screen technology that will provide for the aforementioned maximum battery life. There was speculation in late 2013 that Apple was still trying to come up with the right screen for the device.
No indication of what the iWatch might actually look like has been officially released by Apple. However, the company is well known for its attractive designs, so Apple enthusiasts are sure to have high expectations. It has been reported that the device will have a 1.5 inch display, but that information has not yet been confirmed by company. It has also been suggested that the iWatch may be available in multiple sizes to ensure a good fit for a variety of consumers.
As for design, it has been reported that Apple was “facing yield problems due to the finish treatments for the body of the device.” Other reports have surfaced indicating that Apple has come to an agreement with a manufacturer to greatly increase its production of sapphire glass. Sapphire glass is expected to be used for the product’s display as it is known for its durability.
Another issue reportedly plaguing the development of the iWatch has to do with personnel. Apple has a team of many employees working on the product, however, a key member of that team was Bryan James who recently left the company to join another former Apple employee, Matt Rogers, at Nest. The two reportedly hold a patent for apple on “a watch-like device.”
The completed product is expected to run a full version of iOS and be an accessory to other iOS devices, including the iPhone. Rumors about its possible unique uses have included, among others, the possibility of it being used to control home automation. No matter what its capabilities ultimately shake out to include, Apple and its enthusiasts are sure to celebrate when Apple finally releases its next big thing.
By Michele Wessel