“Apple, with its iconic brand and lucrative retail network, is poised to tap into the growing watch industry,” Peter Burrows and Olga Kharif report for Bloomberg. “Headway in the business would help compensate for slowing growth in other areas, such as iPhones and iPods. Apple’s stock has slumped by more than a third since peaking in September on signs of accelerating competition led by Samsung Electronics Co. and concern over how quickly Chief Executive Officer Cook is pushing into new products.”

“‘This can be a $6 billion opportunity for Apple, with plenty of opportunity for upside if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod — something consumers didn’t even know they needed,’ said Chen, who covers luxury- goods retailers,” Burrows and Kharif report. “Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, people familiar with the company’s plans said last month. Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.”

Burrows and Kharif report, “Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy. To accommodate the smaller screen of a watch, Apple could adapt its iOS mobile software to limit what information is sent to a wrist device, said Scott Wilson, a watch designer who developed a line of watchbands for people who wanted to use an iPod nano as a watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

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