Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. Debuts Smartphone-Friendly Wristband

By Jake Barach  JUN 27, 2013 1:58 PM

Apple's production partner is putting its future in its own hands.

 


With Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) formed its famous -- and at times, infamous -- iPad and iPhone manufacturing partnership with Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354). The next item rolling off Foxconn’s lines could become the long-rumored smartwatch that most have assumed Apple would create, but don’t look for an “i” before this product’s name.

The new writstband, demoed Wednesday, is Foxconn’s very own creation and shows a deviation from the company’s heavy reliance on contract manufacturing for major companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

After Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317), Foxconn’s parent company, reported a 19% drop in sales from the previous year on April 10, most of the stateside speculation focused on what it would mean for Apple. For the Taiwanese manufacturer, however, it may have been the catalyst for the diversification of Foxconn’s business plan.

Foxconn’s new technology is compatible with the iPhone and will allow its wearer to preview Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) messages and phone calls. It also keeps track of the owner’s heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, and provides the user with health advice. This information, which can also be relayed to health care providers, is expected to be concealable by the user, pending the release of a fingerprint reader update to the wristband.

No release date is currently set, but wearable tech seems to be the next frontier with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass and other “smart” gear starting to make waves.

Foxconn isn't alone in its attempt to provide smartphone users with a device that relays information via nothing more than a quick glance at the wrist, but its decision to go it alone with this new technology shows signs that it’s prepared for the competition on the consumer sales end of the market.

The new watch won’t come with the Apple iSeal of approval, but Foxconn could have a winner on its hands regardless.
No positions in stocks mentioned.