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NYT And WSJ: Apple Planning Curved Glass ‘iWatch’

NYT And WSJ: Apple Planning Curved Glass ‘iWatch’

Two heavyweights in the reliable source world, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, have come out and ignited the rumor mill by suggesting that Apple is working on a curved glass ‘iWatch’, which would run iOS.

The concept of an iWatch has been something thrown around for quite a while (1, 2), and while many thought it very unlikely at one stage, it might well come true.

iWatch 2


In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.

Potential features include, Siri, Maps and Passbook, however as of yet it seems like no one is sure exactly what an ‘iWatch’ would do or entail. A prime candidate for the glass however is the Corning Willow, a bendable glass developed by the makers of the glass on the iPhone and iPad. Pete Bocko, CTO for Corning, said that Willow could potentially wrap around a wrist:

You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist. Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass.

The Wall Street Journal (via 9to5Mac) then backed the NYT’s information up, stating Foxconn had been working on technologies that could be used in an ‘iWatch’.

Apple Inc. is experimenting with designs for a watch-like device that would perform some functions of a smartphone, according to people briefed on the effort. The company has discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

Foxconn, as Hon Hai is known, has been working on a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices, one of these people said. In particular, the Taiwan-based company has been working to address the challenges of making displays more battery-efficient and working with chip manufacturers to strip down their products. The technologies are aimed at multiple Foxconn customers, this person said.

Apple already has experience with a watch form-factor device in the 6th generation iPod nano, which turned into a popular time telling gadget with users, who strapped it onto their wrists.

It will be interesting to see what Apple could do with a watch, but I really see potential for great Siri integration. Instead of having to reach for your iPhone, you could just talk to your wrist.

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