08 January 2014

Report sheds light on Apple’s iWatch hurdles

Summary: Apple is hard at work on the iWatch, but has encountered plenty of obstacles along the way, according to a report.

Smartwatches are a big trend at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but so far it’s a category that hasn’t seen any major hits (except for maybe Pebble). That’s expected to change when Apple releases its long-rumored iWatch, but the thing is, no one has any idea when that will actually happen. There are some interesting new details, though: This report from The Information shows some of the potential obstacles Apple has faced in getting its smartwatch to market.

The first, and arguably biggest challenge mentioned has to do with screen technology. Apparently, Apple recently considered going with a new display due to battery life issues. In my opinion, battery life on wearable devices is key. At this point you need to bring at least a week’s worth of battery life with average use to be competitive. But we’re starting to see wearables that promise as much as a full year.

Apple also reportedly put the kibosh on the advanced production of some pieces with one manufacturer, but changing manufacturers midstream is fairly common occurrence. Also cited, and likely more of an issue, is that Apple recently lost some employees believed to be tied to the project. Bryan James, whose name is listed on one of Apple’s 2009 patents for a wearable device (and who was involved with a project to let users strap an iPad Nano to their wrists), joined Nest Labs just this month.

The report does mention that none of these issues are necessarily significant enough to delay a launch, and I’d have to agree. If Apple is indeed working on an iWatch (which seems almost certain at this point), it likely has a formidable team in place that is working on it at this very moment. There are bound to be bumps in the road on any project. Let’s just hope the end is somewhere in sight.


Now read: LG to launch G Arch smartwatch, G Health wristband at MWC 2014


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