back to article The iWatch is coming! The iWatch is coming!

The Apple iWatch rumor mill has rumbled to life yet again, with one report that Apple is sampling 1.5-inch OLED displays for the li'l fellow, and a second that long-time iKit assembler Foxconn has received orders for a test batch of the "wearable computing" device. On Monday, MacRumors spotted an article in the Japanese Apple- …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, another story about the iDontCare, or iCouldntGiveACrap, whatever it ends up being officially called.

    Can't wait to be shouted down by the iFans but honestly I see more people giving up their iStuff than buying new. It is getting old.

    Welcome to the iRevolution

    1. Owen Ashcroft

      Liar, you care enough to actually read the story and post about how much you don't care.

      You know what I don't care about, network infrastructure, android, why the sky is blue, and how can you tell? I don't post on articles about them saying I don't care, because I never bothered to read them.

      The reality is you care a lot, so fail for the liar.

      1. Steven Raith

        Someone doesn't care about network infrastructure?

        You liar, everyone loves network infrastructure!

        Steven R

        PS: Can't see a usage model for a watch-phone combo if I'm honest, but then I didn't see a model for a tablet.

        After buying a (halfway decent one) I still can't, but plenty of other people seem to like 'em....if it filters down some shiny new tech, then I won't grumble.

        1. Jason 24


          I think you'll find he probably didn't read the article.

          Neither did I, I stopped at MacRumours on the second paragraph and went looking for the flame war

          1. Jason

            Re: @owen

            You are correct, I saw multiple links to multiple snippets of non-news that my brain just barfed.

            Sorry, iNews, iBarfed

        2. Pete Foster

          Re: Someone doesn't care about network infrastructure?

          Remind me to show you my MetaWatch next time I'm in your neck of the woods.

          I got one simply because I liked the idea of a watch that I could develop custom code for. Like you, I din't really see a need for such a device. However, it does serve a useful function. It might be because I'm not permanently tied to my phone like the yoof of today. Glancing at a watch is much more convenient than digging my phone out of a bag.

        3. Professor Clifton Shallot

          Convenience more or less equals utility.

          "Can't see a usage model for a watch-phone combo"

          There's a parallel with the move from pocket watches to wrist watches - no real change in functionality but a great one in convenience and that would be enough to make them sell.

          If it is Apple v Samsung in this market too, will the Reg coverage come from the wrist watch writs watch desk?

          1. Pookietoo

            Re: There's a parallel with the move from pocket watches to wrist watches

            Except that a wristwatch is big enough to display the time, a display smaller than a smartphone is going to struggle to display much more with any degree of usability. Remember calculator wristwatches? The interface was just about usable, their appeal was limited to geeks, and everyone else carried on using their pocket calculators. If you want a wearable smart device you can just hang a phone around your neck.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Someone doesn't care about network infrastructure?

          "PS: Can't see a usage model for a watch-phone combo if I'm honest, but then I didn't see a model for a tablet."

          Bill Gates saw a "usage model" for tablets, but if just didn't work with Windows at that time. Way before the plagiarists Apple.

      2. dougal83

        @Owen Ashcroft

        "Liar, you care enough to actually read the story and post...."

        Hey simpleton, I don't care about iThings and I read the article and comments. The Reg articles sometimes contain amusing references to fanboyism. Can you comprehend that some people like myself enjoy watching fanboys go nuts over their beloved inanimate objects? (not just apple fans) I must thank you for your outburst responding to a troll, it was amusing enough to respond.

        What kind of moron would buy an iWatch anyway? Oh wait captive audience! Have you seen those happy clappy people in blue at a product launch in a shop! lol

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: @Owen Ashcroft

          >Except that a wristwatch is big enough to display the time, a display smaller than a smartphone is going to struggle to display much more with any degree of usability

          Okay, just a partial list of things that could be easily displayed on a watch without a fancy display:

          -The time

          -A direction to a waypoint - like a traditional compass

          -Notification alerts - could be done with a single RGB LED - different colours and flashes denote different alerts, much like the one on your phone does.

          -4 digit Numerical data sent from your phone - time to next train, custom countdown timer, average speed, distance to waypoint, altitude

          Even little bits of information like these might be useful if they can be consulted without removing your phone from your pocket (or in some circumstances, a waterproof pouch in your rucksack)

          1. JDX Gold badge

            display smaller than a smartphone is going to struggle to display ... with any degree of usability

            People said texting on a touchscreen would be lousy and not catch on, too.

            1. Anonymous IV

              Re: display smaller than a smartphone is going to struggle to display ... with any degree ...

              Well, it is lousy - and in spite of this it caught on.

        2. Ted Treen



          Owen thinks differently to dougal83.

          Dougal83 responds with a diatribe of spittle-laden invective mocking anyone who doesn't toe the dougal line and calls them morons.

          What a wonderfully reasoned discourse:- obviously proves that poor Owen should tremble before Dougal's mighty discerning intellect.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. dougal83

            Re: @dougal83

            @Ted Treen

            First off thanks for recognising my superiority complex. You will go far in this world with your keen eye Super Ted. I do fear I commited blasphemy by poopooing a rumoured iDevice and caused offence in the process. Oh well life goes on. You can take off your blue t-shirt and give your hands a rest now.

  2. JeffyPooh

    Another Bluetooth & Wifi gadget a lá les Googgles?

    Or are people expecting it to be equipped with a built in mobe?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Another Bluetooth & Wifi gadget a lá les Googgles?

      The semi-mythical Pebble uses Bluetooth to connect to iPhone / Android.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Another Bluetooth & Wifi gadget a lá les Googgles?

        The new version of Android shown off last week brings support for the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol to the OS for the first time- though some Android Samsung devices already have the hardware. More recent iOS and Nokia WinPho devices already support it, as does the Casio G-Shock BLE watch - with a claimed battery life of 3 years based on twelve hours connection per day.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ours will be 2.5 inch

    and pulsating when members of the opposite sex initiate visual evaluation of its girth. Yeah, baby! - said the Samsung CEO in his canned statement.

    1. Lallabalalla

      Re: ours will be 2.5 inch

      Haha! And maybe the fact that's it's juddery an dhas invisible buttons that make it "go back" quickly will be an advantage this time.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This doesn't make a lot of sense

    The most important attribute of a watch is convenience. An important part of that is battery life. Things that are both unnecessary and would kill battery life are:

    - any display other than eInk

    - a processor with sufficient grunt to run a full sized OS

    - sufficient RAM to run a full sized OS

    All that is needed is a micro kernel running on a low power microcontroller, E Ink display, wireless comms to let the smartphone do all the processing and the biggest battery you can get away with. Capacitive switches around the edge would be an effective alternative to a touch sensitive display

    Why would they build a watch that runs iOS and uses OLED? It would need recharging every day.

    1. uhuznaa

      "It would need recharging every day."

      This must be the reason why smartphones proved to be such a flop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "It would need recharging every day."

        Wouldn't this be a good use of wireless charging? Its unlikely Apple will put a dock connector in the thing, even the new smaller dock connector is pretty big compared to a watch. Take it off at night and set it on a charging pad next to your bed.

        I wouldn't think you want a watch that needed charging EVERY day though, because who wants to take a charging mat with them when they travel. So a week's battery life would be a good compromise, any longer and you'd need a find a way to charge it (is it possible to do so through a headphone jack?)

        I don't think a week's battery life is a problem. The screen needn't be on all the time, it could come on with a touch or maybe by waving your arm in a particular way (hopefully not a way that makes one look too silly) Ditto for the CPU, it would be idle 99.9% of the time, since it isn't exactly going to be calculating pi when the screen is off.

        One of the big consumers of battery in phones is the cellular and wifi modems. This would have neither, and use only Bluetooth or some similar short range technology to talk to your other device, so it would also be idle most of the time.

        1. D@v3

          Re: "is it possible to do so through a headphone jack?"


          The old(ish) iPod shuffles both charge and sync through the headphone jack.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "It would need recharging every day."

      Well, just give it an onboard gyro-powerplant and the fanboi wrist-action will keep it fully charged. All. Day. Long.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. SuccessCase

      Re: This doesn't make a lot of sense

      There were similar posts prior to the release of the iPad and iPhone. The thing Apple have learned to do really well is address exactly the kind of questions you have put on that list then test and refine until they have something enjoyable to use. They won't use focus groups which they see as a distraction from innovation (one of Steve Jobs' favourite quotes was Henry Ford, "If I had asked people what they wanted they would have replied 'faster horses.'") but instead will have a core team using the prototype product continually and asking themselves the question "is this something I love to use." If they have retained Jobsian disciplin then if they bump against an ugly reality - such as insuficient battery life, they will either work really hard to resolve the problem, or they won't release the product.

      Part of what Steve Job's brought is the ability to say "no, it's not good enough." The problem most companies have when innovating new products is that people become overly invested in the product and due to time spent and career politics, will doggedly stick with something even when it starts to become obvious it is a bad idea or badly implemented. Even worse, the executives who approved the product R&D budget spend also tend to become similarly invested. Added to this is the tech press clamouring for something new from Apple as though it is a failure if tech doesn't mature quick enough to unloock entire new new markets with drum beat regularity (which has always been a faintly preposterous notion). So personally, unlike most others, I see it as a sign of strength if they can filter out the noise *refrain* from launching new products and have the disciplin to wait until the tech is mature enough (when they have to wait) and work really hard to improve the tech where they have the capacity to do so (famously Steve Jobs was a very good whip cracker, pushing others on to exceed even their own expectations).

      They will have come up with some solutions to the questions posed about battery life etc. Perhaps motion sensing algorithm, tuned to switch on the display when movement matching some "intention signalling" pattern indicates the user is looking at the watch. Who knows. But it's clear this will be a big test for the post Jobs era team. Will they have succumbed to external pressure and release a product too early, or will they show they have retained the disciplin to release when the product is ready and one that users can really enjoy using it?

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: resolve the problem, or they won't release the product

        Like iOS 6 maps, you mean?

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: resolve the problem, or they won't release the product

          It may have escaped your notice, but the executive responsible for the maps fiasco was unceremoniously dumped for his failure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: resolve the problem, @SuccessCase

            "It may have escaped your notice, but the executive responsible for the maps fiasco was unceremoniously dumped for his failure."

            I did enjoy your longer post above, which was excellent. But on this point you're wrong. A scapegoat was found, and sacrificed, and most of the guilty remain on fat salaries.

            It wasn't a one man decision to junk the relationship with Google - that would have been boardroom stuff with much debate. The release of an essential product like maps, again, not one man's say so. The Apple Maps fiasco is a product of the post Jobs management preferring to play politics and lawsuits in preference to focusing on product, product & product. And you can see that with their maps product it was poor quality, rushed and under-resourced, with woefully inadequate testing. And they knew these things - this wasn't a cheesy immature startup, it was big corporate management with huge software and product development experience, yet knowing that their maps weren't as good as competitors, they still went ahead. Because pissing off a few customers didn't matter as much to their egos as thumbing their noses at Google.

            Jobs didn't always get it right, and personally I won't touch Apple stuff, but in this case I don't think he'd would have made this mistake.

            1. SuccessCase

              Re: resolve the problem, @SuccessCase

              @Ledswinger. I didn't make that remark off the cuff. You're making the assumption Apple wanted to do their own maps app as distinct from wanting to avoid being forced to incorporate advertising in a maps app from Google.

              The evidence goes against that.

              A few points:

              - The contract with Google for maps data supply was up for renewal, so Google could change the terms.

              - Google were withholding access to the turn-by-turn directions API from Apple (Apple developed and maintained the maps app, though of course it was little more than a window onto the Google app)

              - Google were withholding access to vector based maps, which are much higher performance (and consume less bandwidth - so this was for sure a political point not based on costs)

              - Google started charging an arm and a leg for access to the volume mapping API (there was an outcry at the time from their established web customers, and they later reduced the newly introduced wholesale charges by an order of magnitude

              Apple's position was that Google themselves wanted to provide maps to iOS and that therefore they were not going to a) pay for the maps data for what is a free app , b) be forced to take adverts (there is of course no way Apple would settle for such in a stock iOS app). In this context both parties were negotiating a position and both parties were free to horse-trade and or be aggressive in their approach. It is clear however Apple saying "we'll build our own" is not a decision they made in a vacuum or necessarily because they wanted to be in the mapping business per-se. Divining the motives of men (or corporations) is an idle task.

              In the event Google have produce the maps app for iOS on the terms Apple were, reportedly, requesting in the first instance (e.g. not charging for wholesale data access, incorporating vector maps, and not incorporating adverts), so it could be said the evidence points to Google playing politics equally, if not more than Apple (though as said, divining motivations is an idle task).

              Lastly Scott Forstall was the senior executive fully in charge of the maps project. It was IMHO appropriate he should have apologised for the debacle surrounding the low quality of the release. However responsibility was not shirked by other management, because, in the event, since Mr Forstall felt disinclined to apologise for the debacle, Tim Cook did what any man next up the tree should do and apologised unequivocally himself. I don't feel Forstall, reportedly sticking two metaphorical fingers up at Cook, and leaving the apology to his boss quite qualifies him as a poor unfortunate collared to be scapegoat. A scapegoat has no reason to feel the stab of the dagger on the sacrificial altar. Forstall would have avoided the altar altogether if he had stepped up for what, given his position, a quite reasonable mea-culpa.

              Not sure I can be wrong on this any more than you, since I think it is a matter of opinion. However hopefully you now see I don't just express my opinions thoughtlessly.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This doesn't make a lot of sense

      "Why would they build a watch that runs iOS and uses OLED? It would need recharging every day."

      Like the crappy iPhone!

  5. Azzy

    An iWatch will be a tough sell...

    They probably won't be able to include the 3g/4g data connectivity in it, at least without it weighing a ton or having crap battery life. So you'll still need a phone (even if you could somehow use a watch to do all the other things you do with a smartphone) - of course you'll still need a phone, otherwise sales of the iWatch would cannibalize iPhone sales.

    The only thing I can think of for it is for notifications, or an alarm if you leave your phone behind. But neither of these require an OLED display - you can do it just fine with LEDs. Indeed, there are at least two kickstarter projects for a bracelet with LEDs and bluetooth in it, to do notifications and warn you if you've left your phone behind (here's one: ), and another one to do the same thing with your wallet.

    In order for Apple to justify the costs associated with the OLED display and the Apple brand, Apple is going to need to do something really cool /and useful/ with that OLED display. And I just don't see any functions like that.

  6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    The problem with an iWatch

    Is that given Apple's demographic for the iPhone which has most of their present customers either need reading glasses now, or will shortly. One would presume the audience for the iWatch is even older, given young people's tendency to go watchless now. Who the hell wants to have to put your reading glasses on to look at your iWatch?

  7. Ye Gads

    Amazing multi-tasking capabilities

    It allows the owner to talk into their watch and out of their arse at the same time.

    Another breakthrough product by Apple!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watch out!

    How long before Casio, Swatch, Seiko et al have to license a wearable device that tells the time after Apple invent the concept?

    looks like the best way Apple can innovate the iPhone is to sell something 'new' and 'never before seen' to go with it.

    The iPhone is dying mow.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Watch out!

      I'm not worried about that.

      I'm more worried about having to pay an iTax for owning a wrist for any brand of watch to go on.

    2. ThomH

      Re: Watch out!

      The iPhone isn't dying now, but the iPod wasn't dying in 2007. Modern Apple likes to get each new cash cow up to speed before the previous goes into decline.

      That said, if a watch is all they can come up with then the future's probably not bright.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Watch out!

        "The iPhone isn't dying now"

        ThomH sorry to tell you, iPhone missed the bus years ago. It's so over the hill your bus could never catch up!

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Watch out!

          Don't let the facts get in your way AC, those sales figures are totally irrelevant.

  9. Cliff

    Are apple inventing the spot watch?

    iSpot, or similar?

    1. ShadowedOne

      Re: Are apple inventing the spot watch?

      So..would that make a google/android version the gSpot?

      1. Cliff

        Re: Are apple inventing the spot watch?

        @shadowedone - brilliant, love it

      2. Diamandi Lucas
        Thumb Up

        Re: Are apple inventing the spot watch?

        @ ShadowedOne

        I hope not, what good is a watch that I can never find?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are apple inventing the spot watch?

          G-spot is the original vapourware.

  10. M7S

    Genuine interest, but not just for an Apple one.....

    One that functions as a remote keypad/screen for the xphone in my jacket pocket so I can see who's calling and accept/reject, dial numbers or look up contacts and control the media player functions, all whilst listening/talking through some tiny bluetooth headset.

    That should cut down on all the opportunistic phone thefts involving bicycle riding ne'er do wells and similar problems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine interest, but not just for an Apple one.....

      Yeah this time they'll nick your watch AND your phone - that's progress for you....

  11. Persona non grata

    Look shiny! (ignore the recent tax avoidance revelations)

    Isn't it funny how the rumours surface when their unethical tax avoidance comes to light... (it's gone beyond minimisation if they're running entities to pay no tax anywhere)

    I suspect Cook will end up making Scully's tenure look good in comparison...

  12. gregthecanuck

    iphone accessory

    I can see the usefulness of the device as an extension to an iPhone. Agree with M7S above.

    Instead of people compulsively pulling out their phone and checking for messages/info they can just look to their watch. Something like the Blackberry message light, but on a remote device. This could be quite useful.

    I don't see the point of this device as a stand-alone device.

    Possible charging source could be a wireless charge from the iPhone itself (next generation) or some other device, possibly similar to the Nokia wireless charging setup.

    But in the big picture I just don't see this making a huge difference to Apple's bottom-line. Won't have huge margins. Likely won't spur extra software sales. It will possibly help shore-up their eroding market share in the short term, but long term the me-too products will show up quickly, likely with better features and a lower price.

    If this is Apple's next big thing then they are in serious trouble.

  13. Eponymous Cowherd

    Now we wait.....

    for Apple to start suing Sony, Pebble, etc, for stealing their "innovation".

  14. Martin


    "MacRumors spotted an article in the Japanese Apple-news site Macotakara that reported (Google translation) on two tidbits published by Taiwan's Economic Times discussing the long-rumored iWatch..."

    And now we have the Register reporting on MacRumors who spotted an article.....

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Why not a BOFH watch?

    which runs linux, allows you to log into your servers. A full keyboard would perhaps be a bit much, bt a small set of function keys with the following functions could be enough:

    F1: rm -rf *

    F2: kill -9

    F3: shutdown -h now

    F4: reboot

    like this one

    Suggestions for other keys welcome

    1. M Gale

      Re: Why not a BOFH watch?

      F5: :(){:|:&};:

      (Well somebody had to)

  16. g e

    Are apple still going?

    The only iThings I see all seem to be at least five years old judging by the design...

    Why do we care about an iWatch?

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Are apple still going?

      We don't.

      But Apple could be doing something more interesting - such as usable, as opposed to silly, home automation.

      And a wrist terminal for home control with media streaming to Bluetooth earbuds has more potential than a wrist terminal for messages and time-telling.

      Then again, I'm not expecting much from Cook, so it will probably come in a range of garish iVesian colours and be dull and thin. (Like Cook.)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Idontgiveacrap will only be a repeater for your iphone. Will most likely be a bluetooth connection as well.

    You will control it with your phone.

    Yey I am now an official rumour.

    I will stick with my Citizen Eco drive watch. It never runs out of power. ever.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Never? You mean only when they wrench it out of your cold dead hands. In which case you will be passed caring.

      1. D@v3


        If it's anything like mine, it's solar powered, can run in a draw for 6 months. leave it on a desk, and (afaik) it just keeps going and going and going

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mine watch is a waterproof, shock resistant, solar powered and a radio watch because I want it to just work with zero maintenance; anything which needs recharging or can tolerate getting wet will end up in the circular filing cabinet!

  19. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge

    face off

    At least we know what the watch face *won't" look like...

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