An Apple iPhone 5S on display at an Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif. Apple is expected to unveil the phone’s newest iteration next month.
Apple may not only debut its iPhone 6 as expected on Sept. 9, but also unveil its smart watch, dubbed “iTime,” which was predicted to be announced separately in October, according to reports.
Apple has traditionally released the latest version of the iPhone each September, but Silicon Valley has buzzed for nearly two years about the hardware maker’s plans for a smart watch with new, innovative features and fashionable design. The new smart watch may be called the “iTime,” according to a U.S. patent granted to Apple.
That device was originally reported to be worth its own press event in October, but Apple has sped it up its release and scheduled it to accompany the new iPhone on Sept. 9, according to reports from Re/code, a blog run by tech insiders. The new iPhone 6 may include a mobile payment feature to match competition in that growing space from Google Wallet, Square and now from Amazon’s Local Register, Wired reports.
The new smart watch and iPhone will also likely make use of the new mobile health and smart home platforms, dubbed HealthKit and HomeKit, which the company debuted in June. Health monitoring is likely a big part of Apple’s new smart watch, as the company has reportedly hired engineers who have worked on medical sensor devices to design the iTime. Wearable devices have not yet evolved into a must-have product, but the most popular smart watches track fitness data.
Making Apple’s smart watch more fashionable than other brands is likely the role of the company’s recent hire Angela Ahrendts – the former chief executive officer of Burberry – as senior vice president in charge of strategy for retail and online stores. Competition on wearables includes Google, which unveiled its Android Wear operating system in June with features like voice search and fitness monitoring.
Apple’s patience and culture of perfection may help it blow away earlier arrivals in the smart watch space with a device that finally makes wearables a must-have product, Jonathan Gaw, a research manager at market analysis firm International Data Corporation told U.S. News in a previous interview.
The Touch ID fingerprint security on the iPhone 5S released a year ago shows how Apple’s culture of design perfection can make an existing technology more practical and convenient for consumer devices. Fingerprint scanners had been used mainly by corporate customers on devices like Lenovo’s ThinkPads.