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Apple iWatch Release Date, Price and Specs: What We Know So Far

( [email protected] ) Jun 23, 2014 12:32 AM EDT
Apple's iWatch may start hitting the shelves by October this year, according to a recent report from Japan -- following the end of the WWDC 2014 developer conference last week.
Apple iWatch Concept. (Image credit: Todd Hamilton)

Apple's iWatch may start hitting the shelves by October this year, according to a recent report from Japan -- following the end of the WWDC 2014 developer conference last week.

On June 6, the Nikkei Asian Review claimed insider knowledge that allegedly confirmed the existence of a wearable device under development at Apple. The same report spoke of a mobile device that had the ability to track a user's biometric information via smartphone. That device, says Nikkei, will start selling sometime in October. Thouigh no name was given by Nikkei, many in the rumor mill have assumed that the mystery device in question is the iWatch.

"It will likely use a curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touchscreen and collect health-related data, such as calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood glucose and blood oxygen levels," wrote Yuichiro Kanematsu, in the Nikkei report. "It will also allow users to read messages sent by smartphones."

Similarly, Code/Red reported that Apple is launching a wearable device that will take for advantage of the HealthKit app that was launched at this year's WWDC conference. In some sense, these unsubstantiated rumors do bear a small measure of weight considering Apple has much to gain from such technology.

A recently leaked memo written by IBS investment firm analyst Steven Milunovich says that if Apple launches the iWatch near the end of this year, it stands to make at least $6.5 billion in revenue within 2015. This document was later discovered by Apple Insider, which leaked the memo via its website on Monday. The same memo also projected the iWatch market value at around $300, and claimed the device may produce a revenue of no less than $11 billion annually By 2016.

Milunovich believes the iWatch would be ready by later this year, similar to what Nikkei claims earlier. 

"We expect iWatch sales to roughly track iPad unit sales - similar penetration rates would mean higher sales," Milunovich wrote, according to AppleInsider. "iWatch might do better because the customer base is larger than when iPad launched and the ASP might be less. On the other hand, iWatch is the first product to be worn, which might not appeal to all users."

Publically, Apple does not acknowledge the existence of such a wearable device despite rumors suggesting the contrary. In fact, it was the rumor mill that first openly used the term 'iWatch' to describe the fabled mobile device. Indeed, the idea of wearable gadgetry is nothing new, and health-monitoring mobile devices may become necessities in the future. A strong indicator of this growing trend is evidenced in wearable devices already being developed by Apple's rivals Samsung and Sony.

Naturally, Apple is falling under pressure to come up with a wearable device that would either match or overpower what competitors are offering. As WWDC 2014 has shown, Apple has already placed much investment in health monitoring functions by incorporating such features in the recent iOS 8 software update.

The iOS 8 unveiling may haved coincided with iWatch development, which uses the health functions similar to what was mentioned earlier. At this time, iWatch actual specs -- if there are any -- remains scarce. Even so, more information may be available in the following months leading up to the iWatch's eventual unveiling sometime later this year.