Apple seen seeding future wearable products in iPhone 5s with M7 motion co-processor

“Apple Inc.’s new high-end iPhone gives a glimpse of future products that may be in store from the world’s most-valuable company,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg. “A new motion-sensor chip inside the iPhone 5s lays the groundwork for wearable-computing products, while a fingerprint sensor opens more opportunities to make the smartphone a tool for making purchases at stores, according to technology analysts who study Apple.”

“‘These are important first steps that Apple is taking,’ Tim Bajarin, an analyst with research firm Creative Strategies Inc., said in an interview,” Satariano reports. “Even before the new iPhones were unveiled, Apple has taken steps toward wearable devices. The company has been seeking trademarks for the name iWatch in countries including Japan. Apple also has a team of about 100 product designers and engineers working on a wristwatch-like device, two people familiar with the company’s plans have said.”

“At the event introducing the iPhone 5s, Apple highlighted the new M7 chip for health and fitness applications. The chip, which is less battery-hungry than the handset’s other main processors, tracks movement through an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, said Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller,” Satariano reports. “While the technology is initially intended to improve iPhone fitness applications, the chip will probably be incorporated into a new iWatch-like device from Apple, said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrest Research who has studied trends in wearable computing. It can crunch data being generated by the wearable device, she said. ‘Whether Apple launches an iWatch or another type of wearable device, the new chip will make that device much more powerful and make the experience of using it more seamless,’ she said.”

Apple A7 processor and Apple M7 motion co-processor
Apple’s A7 processor and Apple’s M7 motion co-processor

 
Satariano reports, “Apple is also allowing developers to build on top of the motion-focused chip. Nike’s Move application uses the technology to measure a person’s daily activity. Other fitness applications will be forthcoming. ‘The challenging thing for doing all-day activity apps on phones is the battery life,’ said Sampo Karjalainen, the maker of Moves, a pedometer iPhone app. The new chip ‘is optimized to listen to data and use as little battery as possible,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

9 Comments

  1. Bring on the iWatch baby. And a 4.8″ iPhone to go with it. That’ll make a lot of sense. I can leave my iPhone in my pocket and have glanceable information literally a fingertip away.

    In the meantime I’ll wait for the 4.8″ iPhone 6. The 5S offers little in terms of increased screen real estate for me.

    1. You can wait in line for your five inch phone, right behind all the people waiting for the mac mini in a PC box chassis with slots and standard PC graphic cards.

      The problem is (similar to what it was for the “BigBox” mac mini crowd) that the vast majority of people prefer the smaller (easily pocketable) existing iPhone form factor over the overgrown ‘roid form factors.

      You do get that the ‘roid phones are only bigger so they can stuff bigger batteries in so they can get decent runtimes. The iPhone cloners would produce an iPhone 5 sized phone, if they could…

      1. No, you’re wrong. The larger iPhone is not available. So people have no choice but to purchase the iPhone that IS available. People can’t buy what isn’t available. That was a decision made by Apple. They misjudged the market and truly wish they had a larger iPhone available now. Despite the reason/excuse that you may hear from Apple, they missed the boat.The 5S and 5C will sell very well because people want an iPhone. And those are the only iPhones that Apple has available. Well, along with the two year old 4 S! If Apple had the larger iPhone, which will be here next year, the stock wouldn’t be in the toilet today. Ugly!

        1. Although I battled with BLN on many things, I have long been a supporter of a larger iPhone. There are several possible approaches. For instance, Apple could squeeze a 4.5″ display into the current iPhone with only small increases to its external dimensions. Alternatively, Apple could have two iPhone models, the current 4″ and a larger one, perhaps a 4.7″ to satisfy a wider audience. Apple is a large company and can handle a couple of iPhone models without falling apart. If you need proof, then consider the manner in which Apple grew and differentiated the iPod lineup.

          Some people clearly prefer a larger phone display. When Tesselator said that a “vast majority” prefer the existing iPhone form factor, he may have been exaggerating just a bit. But the surveys that I have seen indicate that a strong majority favor the smaller, more portable iPhone form factor. Regardless, the 4″ iPhone 5s and 5c will sell quite well. As you pointed out, many of the people who would prefer a larger phone display will settle for an existing iPhone rather than switching to Android. In some respects, that helps to justify Apple’s approach.

          I have long advocated another concept which has recently been surfacing on this forum – the incorporation of cell phone functionality into other iOS devices – namely the iPad and iPad mini. This idea makes even more sense in combination with a robust wearable interface device.

          1. Surveys don’t mean shit! The surveys are not about a larger iPhone. Because there is no larger iPhone. When it becomes available then it can be included in the survey. Until then, surveys about larger phones mean Android and Microsoft phones. Those are not iPhones. Thus the surveys are useless. The “vast majority” have not used or even seen the larger iPhone yet. So again, those statistics are useless. Absolutely useless. Apple simply misjudged the market. (jeez, fanboys can’t admit that). Combine that with wanting to maximize the production of current form factor phones (5,5C and 5S)and you have the reason there is no larger iPhone available today. Last time I checked the iPhone 5 was larger than the iPhone 4S? Apple responded to people wanting a larger phone with the iPhone 5. Just not large enough. And the stock’s performance since September 24, 2012 is proof of that. The Monday after the iPhone 5 introduction. That was $257 ago. We may see the sub $400 level soon. Don’t blame me it’s not my fault. I got out last September. If you failed to sell then or since, that’s no one else’s fault. Except for all of you who of course bought AAPL at $20. Riiiiiiiight.

  2. The M7 is too big to be used in any future iWatch or wearable technologies. Apple is testing and validating its capabilities in the iPHone 5S. Then it will build the next version of the M7 at a smaller process.

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