The iWatch Will Run iOS
At The Verge, Nilay Patel fills in more details. Patel cites his own sources and adds that the iWatch will run off of iOS, rather than using the touch-OS the company uses for its iPod nano devices. This makes complete sense to us; a true smart watch would require Bluetooth and other parts of the connectivity stack that would necessitate more than a proprietary embedded OS.
Moreover, Apple has increasingly turned to iOS to power other devices in its lineup. The Apple TV runs a customized version of iOS and the underlying kernel that powers OS X and iOS is extremely adaptable.
The challenge with iOS, however, is battery life. The Verge sources say that the goal is to get four to five days between a charge, but current prototypes are only getting a couple of days max.
So far, the details we’re hearing about the iWatch match some of the other smart watch projects to crop up in recent years, most recently with the Pebble. The Pebble broke allKickstarter records and is shipping to its backers now.
The success of that project, to me, proves that the idea of a connected watch is a good one. Not everyone thinks an iWatch is a good idea. Mashable Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff doesn’t think enough regular users will actually want an Apple smart watch.
I disagree. Having a wrist-sized companion as a way to access important info, control my music, make calls or look at email headers is something I really want in my life. Of course, not only am I a Pebble backer, I was also an early backer and proponent of the original Kickstarter watch project, the LunaTik iPod nano watch kit.
A Watch Could Bring Big Profits
Plus, if Bloomberg’s numbers are correct, a smart watch could be even more profitable for Apple than a TV set. That’s because the margins for watches are much higher than on televisions. The watch industry has margins as high as 60%. This is considerably higher than the 10% margins TV makers expect.
The watch industry is also experiencing big growth, meaning the timing (no pun intended) could be perfect for Apple to enter the industry.
At this point, there’s too much smoke in the area to discount the idea that Apple is looking at releasing a smart watch. The big question is when and at what price. Bloomberg and The Verge both indicate that the goal is before the end of the year.
Are you excited about the idea of an iOS powered smart watch? Let us know in the comments.
Graphic courtesy of Yrving Torrealba