The latest in iWatch rumors all but confirms this thing is coming, with Apple filing a trademark for "iWatch" in Japan, which is only very exciting for Apple and its investors. Of course the aspiring wearable gadget maker hasn't commented on its impending invention, but these trademark filings show a company's thinking about its future. So: At some point in the near future — maybe "late 2014" says one rumor report — the masses will have an iWatch, which could be okay, maybe. Really, this invention is all about saving Apple. Here's why:
Apple's Stock Doldrums
Despite having one of the most valuable stocks on the planet, the investors aren't happy with Apple. On Friday it closed below $400, losing almost half of its value in nine months. The slump is especially surprising because the company made a bunch of psuedo interesting announcements at its World Wide Developer Conference. Not everyone loved the new (beta!) iOS 7, but the new Macbook airs got great reviews. The drop, however, might have more to do with the recent string of bad press Apple has gotten itself into, like the e-book pricing scandal and some patent rulings that didn't go its way. In other words, Apple needs some good news to distract investors.
iOS Issues and the Future of Gadgetry
The next iPhone won't be the next big thing in technology and even if it is it won't have the same margins as iPhones past. "The smartphone industry’s go-go years are officially over," declared the Financial Times earlier this year. Everyone who wants a $600 iPhone already has one — all the growth is on the low end of things. Rumor has it, Apple will release something more affordable. Some people argue that could raise margins, but the conventional wisdom is it won't. And, already the first signs of a next generation iPhone with the latest update to the operating system, has drawn some skepticism about the future of the tech giant. So, Apple needs something new and fresh for wide-eyed fanboys to eat up and a watch is just that thing.
Google's Getting all the Attention
As far as exciting wearable technology goes, Google Glass has the attention of the tech press at this moment. And, Apple, master of rumormongering, doesn't like that. For years it has relied on the rumor mill to keep its name in the press and excitement high for its products. But, with a lot of other companies — Samsung, Sony, Nike — already in the smartwatch game, Apple's rumored addition to that bunch doesn't have the same sparkle as the robot glasses already floating around the world. But in addition to the decidedly less exciting cheap iPhone rumor, the next most exciting thing is the iWatch. So, the leaks keep on coming to keep interest in something Apple going.
Apple Will Sell iWatches
Even if the iWatch impresses as much as the current fancy-timepieces out there, Apple will sell something. As niche as it is, both the watch and the fitness watch markets are growing. The "fitness watch market" is expected to hit $1 billion at the end of this year, a 50 percent growth from last year. At the very least, the Apple loyalists will buy into it. That's what has happened with Apple's current "hobby," TV, with Apple selling 13 million of its pretty lame boxes. The same will undoubtedly happen with the iWatch. Already, The New York Times's Fanboy in Chief, David Pogue is preparing himself for a love affair, trying out all the competition in both the fitness and computer watch markets so he can inevitably love Apple's best.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.