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Apple iWatch is future of wearable computing, could kill iPhone

Karen Haslam | Jan. 4, 2013
The 'Apple is making a Watch' rumour mill appears to have gone into overdrive. Whether it is symptomatic of a slow down in 'real' news, or genuinely something Apple may be considering doing, the idea has sparked some interesting opinions and theories as to what a watch could mean for Apple.

It would likely be a companion product to an iOS device, pulling content from that device (although it could also pull content from iCloud).

The big problem would be showing such content on a tiny screen. Now that Apple's head of industrial design Jonathan Ive is also in charge of human interface development that may be his challenge.

The iWatch as Apple's first step to wearable computing

Returning to the New York Times report mentioned above, Apple is said to be looking at wearable computing. This iWatch would certainly fit such a description.

Yesterday Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a note to investors suggesting that while the hypothetical Apple watch is unlikely to debut any sooner than 2014, he does believe that wearable computers could replace the iPhone and smartphones in general over the next 10-plus years, however, reports AppleInsider.

Munster wrote: "We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control. Longer term, screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet."

Munster notes that these devices will be cheaper to manufacturer and could enable Apple to reach developing markets.

iWatch as an iPhone killer

A report on Business Insider suggests that the iWatch may in fact be the future of the iPhone. Author Jay Yarow writes that there is a line of thinking that the smartphone era will perish almost as quickly as it began, pointing to an earlier report where it wrote that Google and Microsoft are working on computerized glasses, and that probably means Apple is too. In fact, as we wrote in July, Apple has been granted a patent for a head-mounted display already.

Note that even Munster was suggesting that wearable technology could eventually replace the smartphone or tablet.

Back in the summer another analyst was suggesting that Apple needs to kill the iPhone, disruption is the path to the future.

It's not only disruption of markets that makes Apple successful, it also disrupts its own products. Asymco's Horace Dediu explained: "It create new categories and self cannibalises in a way, the iPhone was about killing the iPod. Apple's number one job today ought to be killing the iPhone. Even though it's its biggest product. They should be doing that, if they are not doing that they will really face a crisis in a few years."


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