Apple and Intel secretly building Bluetooth smartwatch that connects to your iOS devices, say sources

“Two sources from the ‘supply chain’ told Chinese tech blog TGbus.com (relayed by the usually reliable Netease / Tech.163) that Apple and Intel are jointly building a Bluetooth-equipped smart wristwatch that can connect to other iOS devices, most notably iPhone and iPod devices,” Robin Wauters reports for TNW. “According to the same sources, the Apple smartwatch could find its way to the market in the first half of 2013 and sport a 1.5-inch OLED display with indium tin oxide, aka ITO-coated glass, made by Taiwanese PMOLED panel manufacturer RiTdisplay.”

Wauters writes, “Think about it: a small computer – or a custom version of the iPod Nano if you will – that you can wear on your wrist, connects to your iPhone like the Nike+ Fuelband and plenty of other products can, and supports Siri voice control. It would make sense.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, if this is real, Apple needs Intel for what, exactly? Their unmatched ability to sap battery life at exponential rates? Smartwatches shouldn’t require cooling fans.

And, seriously, who under age 50 wears a watch anymore, anyway? That said, Apple could be looking at a staid industry in desperate need of revival as a suitable target for Apple innovation. Still, the Intel connection mystifies.

Take this one with many grains of salt.

44 Comments

        1. Actually, it normally shows a clock. I swipe up and down, it places a facetime call. I swipe right twice, it makes a normal call. I swipe twice left, it shows me ticker prices, temperature, or whatever I have configured. Make it a 40 dollar device and everybody in the family will have one.

  1. Hmm. I’m not sure what features would compel me to talk into a wrist watch. I stopped wearing a watch several years ago. Like many people, I use my phone for the time and dozens of other things.

    1. MDN have “forgotten” nothing. Rather, it looks like you forgot to continue reading.

      MDN’s very next sentence after the one you quoted:

      “That said, Apple could be looking at a staid industry in desperate need of revival as a suitable target for Apple innovation.”

  2. I would humbly suggest that Apple focus on watch accuracy before they add Bluetooth connectivity. The iPod Nano, for example is a lousy watch because you can’t set it to the correct second. You can only set it to the minute. Not very “smart” in my opinion.

  3. I haven’t worn a watch in years unless you count some important meetings or weddings – times when it’s more an accessory more than a tool. And even then I’d catch myself peeking at my iPhone for the time because I’d forget I’m wearing a timepiece.

    That all said, if Apple can bring something new and useful to the watch I’d be a buyer at a certain price point. It would need to be a few things for me, though. It would have to be extremely classy with high quality materials — not a toy. In addition, I think a nice touch would be a screen that appears very clear and high res from a particular viewing angle but obscured from any other angle. It’s just practical because you can so easily adjust the angle with your hand and it would make for needed privacy. Another very cool touch (if it’s possible) would be that it looks like a mechanical watch from every angle accept the exact one used for information display. That would be really cool.

    1. And… The watch has 16 motion and temperature controls and gyroscopes. It shoots out infrared beams to your hand and fingers to recognize your finger position and movements.

      Then you can control sign boards and advertising signs or drive your car with the wave of your hand

  4. “And, seriously, who under age 50 wears a watch anymore, anyway? ”

    Well, many young fellows who likes to dress well. Watches are one of the few pieces of jewelry men can wear. There is more to personal appearance than jeans, sweatshirts and baseball caps worn backwards.

  5. I don’t get it.

    From the start, I understood the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch concepts. I just don’t get this.

    In my world, the only thing more annoying than hearing one side of a phone conversation in public, is hearing both sides of a phone conversation in public. A speakerphone on your wrist doesn’t make sense to me.

    Moving into the reading texts, email, notifications, stock prices, weather on your wrist area … why would I want to do any of that on a 1.5″ screen? If it has to be tethered to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad – I’d rather just read those on the bigger display of the iOS device. Plus, if you want to respond to a text or email – you’d have to do it from the iOS device anyway.

    Could they be preparing to replace Nike+ on iOS devices with a new Apple service? This watch then being the fuelband type of device for that service? Is Nike+, Nike Fuel, Fitbit, Bodymedia, or Jawbone UP services really worth competing against?

    This sounds like an accessory to me.

  6. There’s a reason the wristwatch took over from the pocket watch. Taking a watch in and out of your pocket, just to check the time is a pain when you can just lift your arm then carry on. I don’t want to read tweets, or check emails, or anything like that, but simple information, like weather, or timing/distance information taken from a gps app would be great. I don’t need to be able to interact with it, but viewing stuff without having to constantly take my phone out of my pocket, and activate the screen would be great.

  7. MDN – why the persistent Intel bashing? Some of us LOVE our MacBook Airs and recognize that Apple shutdown the crazy joint PowerPC failed experiment so they could get the order of magnitude improvement in per watt performance needed to make MacBooks and later MacBook Airs. Intel is not the enemy they are a supplier for Apple. Normally you are so insightful MDN. Please check your facts on this one.

    1. Apple switched to Intel with the promise of high power, low wattage chips. And intel hasn’t really followed through.

      At this point I can see the Mac platform moving to ARM before I can see any iOS devices moving to Intel.

      1. Right you are.

        Intel does not meet the per watt performance of ARM for a user supported/wearable computer.

        On top of that, they want too much for the chips they do produce.
        Next year, 64 bit ARM Server chips, Intel will be reallyyyyyy hurting. Bye Bye high priced server chips.

  8. A watch? I dont think that the right way to look at it.
    If Apple brings something to the market, it would be an iWrist device that would also be able to tell you the time. But it won’t be a watch.
    I’m not sure what I miss today while wearing a watch even when I’m under 50, but I like to wait and see what Apple will tell me that I miss. Clearly is should be an independent device that, while connected, will use the iOS device to get and/or send information but at the same time will also have the data stored locally while not connected. (A contradiction to the iCloud concept?)
    To me, the most important functions I can imagine is reminders and alerts brought to me in a very discrete way, a little vibration on the wrist rather than a ringtone. This could be for appointments and reminders while not connected and for notification while connected.
    Further feature could be a remote for Keynote (on iPad or MacBook).

    1. um, you mean have a camera and mic/speaker to make voice/video calls, and a voice UI to send emails etc. and do other stuff?

      as to why Intel, Samsung makes the iPod chips now. ’nuff said.

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