Will Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) long-rumored “iWatch” device be unveiled in 2014? KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note to investors that Apple won’t enter the wearable technology market until at least the second half of 2014, reports Apple Insider. This predicted release date is later than the fall 2013 debut that many other analysts were expecting.
Kuo points to the various Apple patents on curved screens and batteries as evidence of Apple’s intention to release a smartwatch. The Cupertino-based company has long been rumored to be working on one that will utilize Corning’s (NYSE:GLW) flexible Willow Glass.
According to Kuo, this device will feature biometric capabilities that will be used for secure user access as well as possible healthcare features similar to Nike’s (NYSE:NKE) FuelBand. Presumably this technology would work well in this device, since the iWatch will always be in direct contact with your skin.
Kuo also thinks that this device will feature a 1.5 to 2-inch screen size. However, Kuo believes that Apple will continue to use the GF2 touchscreen display technology that it currently uses in the iPad mini, rather than adopting the new OLED panels.
Like any other Apple product, it is expected that the iWatch will be deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. However, Kuo states that the iWatch moniker might be misleading since its primary function will not be to tell time or even relay information from other Apple devices. Rather, Kuo believes that “its wearable design is helpful for offering more secure user identification and biometrics functionality.” In this sense, the iWatch may soon make manual logins a thing of the past for Apple users.
Kuo believes the iWatch won’t be released until 2014 because of the difficulty Apple will face in creating an iWatch version of iOS. The analyst also thinks that a lack of available components for such a device will delay its production until the second half of 2014.
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