Apple fans who’ve spent any time at all following the company know that intense speculation precedes any major product launch from the folks in Cupertino. It’s true whether the product in question already exists or is merely being strongly hinted at in the tech press. It’s also well-known that Apple is one of the most secretive companies around. In fact, Steve Jobs famously denied that Apple would ever create an App Store for iOS or Mac OS X, or create any product in the tablet space. Of course, the company went on to do all 3 of those things, to amazing acclaim.
So now there are rampant rumors about an “iWatch”, and have been for several months. We have something of an idea of what such a device might look like, based on the clever 6th-generation iPod nano. It ran a stripped-down version of iOS and gave users several cheerful watch faces from which to choose (my own is permanently set to Mickey Mouse), and sported a clip on its underside that allowed users to attach the iPod to any of myriad third-party watch bands.
Bloomberg is pointing to an end-of-year launch for this as-yet unconfirmed device. We don’t know if the thing even actually exists yet (nor what kind of product it will be if and when it does), but there seems to be a great deal of pressure on Apple to prove it can still do “insanely great” things after Steve Jobs’ death in October 2011. Sources close to company say that the iWatch will run a full version of iOS, unlike the previous iPod nano, and designers are still working to get better battery life out of the device.
One other fascinating bit of iWatch info circulating on the web is that both Bloomberg and Business Insider are reporting that Apple design guru Jony Ive ordered boxes of Nike watches in the mid-2000s. He was specifically interested in the Nike Presto Digital Bracelets and the Oregon Series Alti-Compass watches, which were manufactured in 2002–2004. Both of these models feature minimalistic designs, using translucent plastic and aluminum. That should sound quite familiar to anybody who’s looked at an Apple product in the past half-decade.