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Apple's iWatch Will Come in Multiple Flavors, Arrive in October, Says Report


Insiders claim Apple's upcoming iWatch device will have a choice in sizes, over 10 sensors to track health and fitness, and will possibly launch this fall.

Ever since Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) gave us a sneak peek of what it had in store for Android Wear, speculation over Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) wearable offering has hit a fever pitch. While the informally dubbed "iWatch" has been circulating the rumor mill for years without a single confirmation from Cupertino, evidence has mounted that something is in the works, and we may see it as early as this October.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the iWatch will launch with more than one version, according to those infamous "people familiar with the matter." Rather than be "one size fits all," the device will likely come in a variety of sizes so it would cater (wisely) to a much larger user base -- men, women, and children. KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo believes that Apple would consider the iWatch a "fashion accessory" as well as a functioning electronic device, leaving choices in design to be a given.
Also in the "likely" category is iWatch's heavy integration with HealthKit, a suite of health and fitness apps that Apple announced at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. Allegedly sporting more than 10 sensors, the device will be able to monitor several health-related metrics, such as heart rate, calories burned, and miles jogged. Considering the popularity of fitness apps on bulky smartphones, this will definitely be a major selling point in the wearables market.
The sensors should also play a big role in home automation, as speculation and rumours about Apple's development with the iBeacon and Continuity systems have created a pressure cooker of possibilities. Similar to the scenarios illustrated in the Android Wear promo video, the iWatch will likely trigger various actions when its proximity is sensed by an accessory. So a wearer's arrival at home may automatically flip on the lights, start the air conditioner, and cue up an after-work playlist.
Like wearables, the "Internet of things" has had difficulty taking off with consumers because a universal platform has yet to emerge. However, given the imminent launch of Android Wear and the ostensible debut of the iWatch, consumers will soon see a unified and compatible approach to Web-connected appliances and accessories.
And with any luck, proprietary systems won't keep Android Wear and the iWatch from working with one another.
Mass production of the iWatch is set to begin next month, courtesy of Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc., with a public launch in October, according to Reuters. Shipments are expected to top 50 million within a year of going on sale, and 10 to 15 million devices are said to ship by the end of this year.
Analysts and consumers have been pining for a new Apple product line since the iPad's debut over four years ago. But if these rumors are true, Apple is poised to end its hiatus in a big way.
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