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Three ways to imagine an Apple 'iWatch'

Tony Bradley | Feb. 14, 2013
Rumors have ramped up this week that Apple is developing an "iWatch." The success of wearable technology like the Nike Fuelband, and demand for the Pebble, the Kickstarter-backed smart watch, have fueled the speculation.

Engineering a device that lies somewhere between the iPod Nano and the iPod Touch, but  can pair with and leverage the capabilities of the iPhone, is a logical direction.

3. A replacement for the iPhone

Let's be bold. The iPod Nano-as-watch has already been done. The smart watch as a Bluetooth extension of smartphone technology already exists through third-party devices. What if Apple just leapfrogs everyone, and disrupts the entire smartphone market (again) by creating a smart watch that effectively replaces the iPhone?

Many people who have a smartphone also have a tablet, yet there's significant overlap in their features and functionality. Since a tablet can already perform all of the smartphone functions (and then some), aside from voice calls, a wearable smartphone that has key elements of an iPhone but can easily place and receive calls would be the sort of revolutionary device so many expect from Apple.

For now, it would be virtually impossible to truly match the capabilities of an iPhone in a wristwatch; it's simply too small to house the storage, battery, and other technologies necessary. However, what if Apple included cellular functionality and enough of the core functionality of a smartphone, so that an iWatch effectively replaces the need for an iPhone?

Of course, Apple may not be working on an iWatch at all. The mythic Apple TV has been rumored for years, with no sign of it coming any time soon. Still, Apple could shake things up with any of these three concepts, or perhaps some combination thereof--like a wearable smartphone that can also pair up with an iPhone or iPad for extended capabilities. We'll have to wait and see.

 

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