Analyst sees wearable computers from Apple as future replacement for iPhone

“Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors on Wednesday tackling the possibility of wearable computers in Apple’s future,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “The note was issued in response to an unlikely rumor that claimed Apple is working with Intel to build a ‘smart watch’ accessory that would tap into high-end iPhone functions including voice calls.”

“Munster doesn’t see a hypothetical Apple watch debuting any sooner than 2014, but he does believe that wearable computers could replace the iPhone and smartphones in general over the next 10-plus years,” Hughes reports. “These devices could eventually prove to be cheaper to manufacture than the iPhone, Munster believes, which could prove to be the company’s ‘best answer to addressing emerging markets.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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21 Comments

    1. Yup. Apple already has wearable computers covered. I usually wear my iPhone inside my pocket. I could Bluetooth it if I wanted to use it while leaving it there.

      On a similar but different note, the iPad works as a “big-ass table” style computer. Just set the iPad down on any table top. So Apple has the table top computers covered too. And wall mounted touch screen computers. And mobile computers (which is really the only computer market that matters).

  1. I think that the term ‘wearable computer’ is misleading. My guess is that what we will end up with will be a wearable interface, but the main computer ( our iPhone ) will be nearby, connected via Bluetooth.

    Once you have Siri, you don’t need a keyboard to anything like the extent that you used to, so a small device with a tiny display, microphone and speaker is pretty much all you need. It wouldn’t be that much different from some of the iPod nano devices that we’ve been offered. If it were wrist worn, you could plug earbuds into it and use it rather like an iPod nano, but with access to the entire music library on your iPhone.

    I would envisage Apple making a smart peripheral to an iPhone, which enhanced the usefulness of iPhones and meant that in many cases, the iPhone could be left in your pocket or bag, but you would still be alerted to incoming mails, messages and other information. If you decided to react to that information, you could get Siri to take a dictated reply, or you could take out and use your iPhone in the usual way.

    iPhones are pretty small, but a wearable interface could be significantly smaller.

    1. Your clarification with respect to the wearable interface is a good one. And I also agree that Siri (as it evolves) will be a critical part of the equation – you have to ditch the keyboard to go ultra-portable – until a direct neural interface is developed. However, I am not looking forward to hearing people talk to their iPhones in public and in the workplace even more than they already do.

      1. Kingmel noted: “However, I am not looking forward to hearing people talk to their iPhones in public and in the workplace even more than they already do.”

        But then all of us insane people are going to be walking around talking to our turned off iPhones and thus be exposed as insane.

  2. The trick of making an Apple computer wearable is to connect the input output parts of the body with elegance. Reducing the tactile input of the hand and moving it to the mouth (oral input) is definitely an advantage due to their close proximity to one of the body’s major input areas, the region of the eye and ear.

    To keep in line with their nomenclature of their products it will probably be called the ieye or something like that. You’ll wear them like a pair of glasses.

    Funny eh? Well someone is trying that out.

    http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/google-glass-projections-from-developers-who-pre-ordered.php

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