Apple's 'iWatch' to Feature Flexible Display, Wireless Charging

iwatch_concept_setAdding to this morning's report from The Wall Street Journal pointing towards a curved OLED screen for Apple's upcoming "iWatch", The New York Times has released several details about the wearable device, suggesting it will have a flexible display and wireless charging capabilities.

Echoing past rumors, The New York Times says the iWatch will come in two separate sizes, focusing on health/fitness and mobile computing tasks, and that it will allow people to make purchases with included NFC support. Its flexible display is described as "unique," and Apple is said to have settled on wireless charging after a failed experiment with solar charging.

It has a flexible display panel that is protected by a cover composed of sapphire, a type of tougher glass, they said. The device's circuit board, which includes its sensors and chips, was described as tiny, about the size of a postage stamp.

For replenishing the battery, the smartwatch will rely on a wireless charging method. Apple had at one point tested solar charging for the watch, but that experiment failed.

According to unnamed employees who spoke to The New York Times, Apple's iWatch is "one of Apple's most ambitious projects to date," with an "enormous" amount of time and money put into the health and fitness sensors in the device, which will be "much more" accurate than existing fitness devices. Rumors have suggested the iWatch will measure an array of different health-related metrics, from steps taken and sleep quality to blood pressure.

The iWatch is said to take advantage of HealthKit, a set of APIs Apple introduced alongside iOS 8 that will integrate into existing health devices and apps, reporting data to a central location. It's also going to rely on Handoff, a Continuity feature that lets users seamlessly transition tasks from one iOS or Mac device to another.

The report also echoes a litany of rumors that have suggested Apple's wearable device will not be available for purchase until 2015, despite Apple's plans to unveil the iWatch at its September 9 media event. The gap between the introduction of the iWatch and its debut will give Apple time to finish work on the device as well as provide an opportunity for developers to create new apps suited to the smaller form factor.

(Image: 2.5-inch iWatch concept by SET Solutions)

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

tedlindsey Avatar
83 months ago

Knowing how much Tim Cook loves wearing the Nike Fuel Band, maybe this mockup is close to the real deal, with a thin flexible screen..


When I heard that Nike disbanded the FuelBand team a while back and knowing the Tim Cook is on the Nike board, I assumed that a closer relationship might be in the works.

This got me thinking in more detail about how the device might function, which led me to create a concept based on what I’d like to see in the device.



This concept is influenced by the sleek design of the Nike+ FuelBand. This type of band could provide space for the battery within the band itself. A magnetic clasp with a positive locking mechanism so that it snaps into place like a Magsafe adapter would be a classic Apple touch. Maybe different size clasps to allow for a range of wrist sizes? A glossy outer shell with a soft rubberized inner band looks great in renders, but I’m not sure how it would hold up to daily abuse.



I think a Home button/Touch ID is a given and would be useful for triggering Siri or authorizing a payment via NFC with your fingerprint. Two side buttons with context sensitive functionality would make sense. In the Music player, they could function as volume controls or as Start/Stop controls in fitness apps. You could even press them together to trigger a third action such as Play/Pause. Having physical buttons on a device this size is important since you’re going to want to operate it via feel on occasion.

The UI might rotate intelligently based on orientation, adopting a horizontal display for the lock screen (time display) but switching to a vertical strip when you raise your wrist towards you. Because the bottom of the display is going to be closer to the user and angled towards them, I can see the status bar being placed on the bottom and most interactions favoring the bottom portion of the screen. Looking forward to seeing what new user interactions they’ve created for this form factor.



The device is going to be too small for text entry, so Siri is going to be much more important and will probably be a primary way you interact with it. Notification displays and response will be another key role for the device so you don’t have to constantly pull your iPhone out of your pocket or bag. I’d love to see some physical interactions such as shaking your wrist to dismiss a notification. Or maybe these kind of gestures could be used to control external devices via HomeKit or act as a remote for your AppleTV.

This will probably be the flagship device for HealthKit and I can’t wait to see what kind of sensors are included. Activity tracking is a given, but I’m eager to see if they include heart rate or even more exotic sensors. The band is the area that’s most likely to have sensors in it since it’s the location where the veins are closest to the surface of the skin.

I can see the device being the user interface and “disconnected” storage for a wide range of health/fitness devices that communicate over Bluetooth 4LE. We may see the rise of an entirely new ecosystem of devices that pair with the iWatch over NFC and Bluetooth. I can envision touching your iWatch to the console of an NFC enabled treadmill and having it relay activity data directly into your iWatch to HealthKit. Or maybe a blood glucose meter, blood pressure or any number of diagnostic devices.

Wireless charging has been rumored and I’d love to see it happen. I would imagine that near-contact inductive charging is most likely although Apple may surprise us since they’ve made some acquisitions around this tech over the past few years. I think the Lightning connector is brilliant, but I’m not looking forward to having to plug in yet another device. Especially if the battery life is less than several days, which is probably going to be the case.

In any event, in less than a week, I hope I can look back at this post and laugh at how quaint this concept is compared to the real thing.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
83 months ago

Yes, I want to wear a watch like this on my wrist. Not. No chance someone with any taste of style would want an iWatch on their wrist.


People said the same about iPods, iPhones, and iPads prior to their unveiling. Your comment will be looked upon years from now and laugh at your expense.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValSalva Avatar
83 months ago

It has a flexible display panel that is protected by a cover composed of sapphire, a type of tougher glass, they said.


Sapphire and flexible? Must be a coating.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gugy Avatar
83 months ago
Waterproof please!!!!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aprofetto8 Avatar
83 months ago
I can't wait. My body parts are ready.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JeffyTheQuik Avatar
83 months ago

Yes, I want to wear a watch like this on my wrist. Not. No chance someone with any taste of style would want an iWatch on their wrist.


We'll just put you in the "no, and proud of it!" Column.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...