Apple Has Team of 100 Product Designers Working on a Smart Watch

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch computer, according to "two people familiar with the company's plans." The New York Times previously reported that Apple had been "experimenting" with a curved glass smart watch, but Bloomberg believes that Apple's smart watch plans have moved beyond the experimental phase.

pebblewatch

The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. The team’s size suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in its development, said the people.

Apple's senior director of engineering, James Foster, is said to be one of the managers working on the project, which happens to involve challenges like creating a smart watch that doesn't have to be charged every day. The smart watch, known colloquially by some as the "iWatch," would be able to do some of the same tasks as the iPad and iPhone.

Bloomberg also mentions that Apple had been planning a wearable fitness tracking device, much like Nike FuelBand or Jawbone Up, but that Apple had decided not to bring them to market. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Nike board member and spoke about his own Nike FuelBand at the D10 Conference last year, also saying that wearable devices were an "interesting area" but that "the book hasn't been written on that one yet."

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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95 months ago

@Spink10, I won't, even if there were 1000 people working on this watch. Check the watch's statistics in the real world. Not very popular. I hate the idea anyways. Make something else if you're trying to be ambitious.


It'll be a "watch" as much as the iPhone is a phone -- which is to say, that wont be its compelling purpose.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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95 months ago
A team of 100? Do you think we: Samsung, feel remotely scared now? Is that your tactic? I've yet to see a mortal man beat the power of the beast contained within our headquarters.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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95 months ago
Ill buy one
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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95 months ago

I'm going to call BS on this.

Tim Cook said Apple will only enter a field if they can greatly improve it or disrupt it. I don't see how a "curved" glass watch disrupts anything. And I can't imagine that Apple would sell that many of these.

Does software not count for anything? Are you really picturing a curved watch that just shows the time?

arn
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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95 months ago
I'd prefer Apple to employ an extra 1000 software developers so we can finally get updates to Mac software like iWorks 09, iLife 11.... rather than yet another 'me too' device.

http://www.sonymobile.com/us/products/accessories/smartwatch/
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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95 months ago
Here are my guesses as to what Apple's "next big thing" might be.

Some of these might happen in a small way instead, but when Apple does something big (probably only seen as big in hindsight!) I think it will be one of these:

• Wearable computing (whether standalone or as a companion device; wristwatch-style most likely)

• Automotive interfaces done right

• TV done right (may include apps, may serve as a game console)

• Home integration done right (remote control and timed control in new/easier ways?)

• Desktop touch computing done right (not just OS X with touch awkwardly shoehorned in, not just large-size iOS)

• Siri becoming something more (may include 3rd-party API, may include Siri’s AI in non-voice uses)

• VOIP done right (audio-only, evolution of FaceTime, breaking the US carrier mess)

• Mobile “wallet” functionality (ubiquitous payment, ID, keys; evolution of PassBook; fingerprint scanning)

I do NOT think it will be anything to do with augmented reality or virtual reality. I think those are awesome, but my list above is all things that MIGHT be of use to just about anyone. I see AR and VR being of interest to only a subsegment; AR because making it be widely useful would mean wearing something silly, and VR because it’s broadest appeal is only for certain kinds of gaming. (But give me a Rift! I’m the subsegment!)

And I’m not counting the many smaller enhancements to existing categories. We’ll see iOS 7+ (and OS X) drive lots of that evolution and it will be great, but I’m speculating on the next big thing that either becomes a new category or redefines an old one.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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