Does Apple’s iWatch Have Its Own Special Team?
The iWatch is the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) television. Rumors of an upcoming wristwatch-like device from the company are beginning to take over the imaginations of watchers as more details begin arriving with each passing day. To go with other reports from earlier this week, Bloomberg said on Tuesday that Apple had a team of about 100 product designers working on developing a smart watch.
The team was made up of software and hardware engineers who have prior experience of working on the iPhone and the iPad, managers, and marketing experts, it said. Members of the group included James Foster, the company’s senior director of engineering, and Achim Pantfoerder, another top manager. The team had grown larger in the past year, and its size now suggested that Apple was beyond the experimentation phase.
The Wall Street Journal said earlier this week that Hon Hai Precision Industry, Apple’s main manufacturing partner, had been involved in discussions related to the device, also suggesting an advanced stage in development. Hon Hai also previously invested in a start-up called WIMM Labs, which designed a watch with a screen, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
The launch of an iWatch priced between $200 and $300 could add an incremental $10 to $15 billion to Apple’s annual revenue and $2.50 to $4 in earnings per share, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note on Tuesday…
“Importantly, iTV and iWatch present new services opportunities that can differentiate Apple’s broader product portfolio, improving investor sentiment around Apple’s ability to maintain market share,” Huberty wrote. “Possibilities include, mobile payments service linked to iTunes/iWatch and video search and multi-screen viewing with iTV.”
Wearable technology has started gaining prominence, with Nike (NYSE:NKE) recently launching a wearable fitness-tracking device that integrates with an iPhone app. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has, meanwhile, been working on developing computerized eyeglasses that it reportedly plans to introduce in 2014.
According to T. Rowe Price Group’s Josh Spencer, Apple was going in the right direction with a watch-like device. “There’s more people that would wear an Apple watch than would wear Google glasses,” he told Bloomberg.
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