While it's easy to dismiss the fanboy bloggers, people start paying attention when details about secret new Apple products start showing up at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. That's exactly what happened Sunday when, in the space of a few hours, each paper published a sourced and serious piece about the imminent arrival of an Apple iWatch, a potential game-changer in the realm of wearable computing. When we say "sourced," by the way, we don't necessarily mean well sourced. Both papers cited "people briefed on the subject" and "people familiar with the company's explorations," respectively. They sound confident, nevertheless.
The iWatch, as many of the aforementioned fanboy bloggers have speculated, will be a smartwatch to compete with existing wearable devices like the Nike Fuel Band or the Pebble smartwatch. You know Apple, though. They like to be different. According to The Journal's Jessica Lessin, the company "is experimenting with designs for a watch-like device that would perform some functions of a smartphone" and "has discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. [a.k.a. Foxconn]." Conversations with manufacturers brings this out of rumor and into report territory. Nick Bilton revealed a little more at The Times. "Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass," Bilton reports. "Such a watch would operate on Apple's iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company's understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body."
And that's it. We now have four quasi-confirmed details about the iWatch: it's being built; it's been discussed with Foxconn; it will possibly be made with curved glass and it will operate on iOS. Feel free to go on and speculate all you like. You might even imagine what it would look like, as did the ADR Design Studio who did the rendering above. It's actually more fun now that the often overly cautious national newspapers have reinforced the earlier rumors. In the past, after all, these papers have tended to be on the right side of the truth, like late last year, when The Journal confirmed other reports about Apple planning a smaller version of the iPad. Within a couple of weeks, Apple officially announced the iPad Mini. Right now, there's a similar flurry of attention gathering around the rumored iWatch, and we expect it'll soon turn into a blizzard.
In the meantime, don't let us talk you out of fantasizing about how awesome the iWatch could be. Take the lead of former Apple designer Bruce Tognazzini who recently published his thoughts on an Apple smartwatch. If you believe half the things he's talking about, you might just as well believe that this watch will save the world. At the very least, it could save Apple Maps.