Apple has filed for a trademark on the name “iWatch” in Japan, according to BGR, indicating that the computer and electronics superpower intends to release its own version of a smart watch sooner than later. Such a device designed and manufactured by Apple is rumored to possibly include such features as a screen face similar in function to an iPhone, a possible projector function, and of course access to the apps the iPhone has become synonymous with. Should the watch include any or all of those functions, it would surely captivate the consumer market…when it comes out at some point in 2014.
To me, Apple’s version of the iWatch seems like a great concept: a portable, easily viewable addition to iPhone’s already exceptional accessibility. However, the wait is becoming even more exceptional as Apple consistently trots out “new” versions of its products which seem little more that a plea to its loyal consumers to keep buying updated versions of the items they already have. So why is it that Apple is now baiting us with the promise of an iWatch that may not be available until next year?
The key to Apple’s trademark announcement today seems to be timing; with Android and even Windows consistently chipping away at Apple’s share of the smartphone and tech market, it’s become increasingly important for the company to stay relevant, ahead of the curve, and in the news. With the Pebble watch (which functions on both the Apple and Android platforms) set to be available at Best Buy stores as early as this Sunday, July 7th, Apple’s decision to trademark the “iWatch” name is not only a bid to keep the “i” moniker attached to its core products to itself, it’s also about keeping the public informed that the Apple alternative to the digital watch is coming, and soon.
Pebble is not the first entry into the “Appcessories” (as 9to5Mac.com shows it’s been labeled in best Buy’s internal system) market; electronics and smart phone manufacturer Sony introduced its SmartWatch last year and has just recently announced the SmartWatch 2, though both are compatible only with Android. The big deal about the timing of the Pebble’s release and the iWatch trademarking in Japan is that Pebble will be the first digital watch to be compatible with the iPhone for more than just syncing running data or controlling songs. Pebble won’t do all the things the iWatch will likely do, but it will be doing them months (maybe even a year) sooner.
To be fair, I think the Pebble is a neat concept, but I won’t rush out to buy it whether or not Apple has something bigger or better on the horizon. Until these smart watches do more than mirror the devices they connect to, I will happily take my phone from my pocket to check my time and messages and save the money I would have spent on such devices for, well, probably some other tech gadget.