Apple iWatch on the way?

Could this be the next big thing from Cupertino?
Darren Allan

February 11, 2013

Apple is currently experimenting with a flexible glass smart watch, and that could be the next avenue the iGadget maker travels down.

The Cupertino-based company is watched like a hawk by the many tech websites and journos around, and there’s always speculation about its next possible move.

The next smartphone or tablet are givens, but it’s about time Apple came up with a fresh product, lest the iterative updates to (and mini versions of) the iPad and iPhone start to make the company look like it’s running out of ideas.

The two big front runners for the next major iGadget are either the Apple TV (as in a full HDTV, not just the current set-top box) and the Apple smart watch, or iWatch as many are calling it. For that will surely be its name, if it comes into existence…

The latest piece of speculation on the iWatch, from the New York Times, states that the usual people who are “familiar” with the company’s operations are saying that Apple is experimenting with a bendy glass smart watch that runs iOS.

The NYT speculates that it might use Willow Glass, the latest innovation from Corning, the maker of the famed Gorilla Glass. As the willowy name suggests, this can be bent into a gentle curve around your wrist.

Other details on the device are scarce at the moment – and of course Apple prototypes a number of products, so there’s no guarantee this will get near the light of day.

The smartphone itself has led to a decline in people wearing wrist watches, and it’s arguable whether a smart watch could have a sizeable impact on the consumer market. Yes, the Kickstarter-powered Pebble smart watch certainly made waves, but how much of that is pure novelty factor at this stage remains to be seen.

And you can bet an iWatch won’t be nearly as affordable as the Pebble, which could make people think twice, too.

On the flipside, there is an argument to be made for a smart watch that hooks up wirelessly to the iPhone in your pocket, allowing you to keep up to speed with received messages and so forth on the go, without having to take your phone out.

We’re not hugely convinced yet, though. Mind you, a full Apple HDTV would be a much more expensive and potentially risky outing – and it’s not clear if Apple has anywhere else to go next for innovative technology.

And the company has to do something, before words like “stale” start to get bandied around more and more, and that stock price begins slipping even further (it’s already down from the $600+ highs of last year to around $475 today on the NASDAQ).


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