Apple, Intel Collaborating on Smartwatch: Report
The Bluetooth-enabled device would feature a 1.5-inch organic LED screen and be able to communicate with other Apple devices like the iPad or iPhone.Apple had a big year venturing into new markets, most notably the launch of its first 7-in. tablet device, the iPad Mini. Now reports are surfacing that Intel is working with chip maker Intel to produce an Apple-branded smartwatch in 2013. According to the report on China's TGbus.com site, the Bluetooth-enabled device would feature a 1.5-inch organic LED screen and be able to communicate with other Apple devices like the iPad or iPhone. The watch is also reported to feature indium tin oxide- (ITO-) coated glass, made by Taiwanese panel manufacturer RiTdisplay. While the report is nothing more than an unsubstantiated rumor at this point, a few concurrent developments could lend credence to the report, such as Apple's adoption of Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which offers Bluetooth low energy (BLE), designed for low-power and low-latency applications for wireless devices within a close range. The partnership between Apple and Intel is also interesting in light of a Nov. 6 report in Bloomberg, which quoted unnamed sources as saying Apple is getting ready to replace the Intel processors used in its PCs with silicon developed by British company ARM. Apple has been using Intel chips in its PCs since 2005, and the transition wouldn't happen for a few more years, the sources said. Apple's iPhone and iPad use processors from ARM, which licenses chip designs to Qualcomm and others.
The smartwatch market marks another place where Apple could breathe new life into old and mostly ignored concepts. Outside of James Bond fanatics and Casio calculator watch collectors, smartwatches have held about as much consumer appeal as tablet computers once did—something that Apple irreversibly changed when it debuted the iPad.