I’d like to preface this post by saying everything being proposed here is entirely speculation and may never see the light of day. Speculation is fun, though – so let’s get into it.
Rumors of an Apple iWatch have been making the rounds for quite some time now. I’d normally brush these aside due to lack of evidence, but a few recent events have brought me back around to the idea.
- Tim Cook has teased the possibility of new product categories this fall. This, in it of itself, does not imply a wearable is on the way. He could be referring to the rumored bigger iPhone. Or anything else, really.
- Screenshots of a Healthbook app have leaked. Again, this does not necessarily prove the existence of a wearable. The iPhone is perfectly capable of tracking many of the items listed in this app, and others aren’t trackable by anything but manual entry.
- Nike has all but abolished it’s FuelBand hardware team, and plans to focus on software. Nike and Apple have always been very close. Nike isn’t a hardware company. Apple is. I think this is the biggest sign of what’s to come. My guess is that Apple and Nike have been working together on a product being designed and developed by Apple that will integrate with Nike+ (among many other things). I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this product being sold in Apple and Nike stores upon its release.
Clearly, this product will not ever be the cash cow that the iPhone ended up being. I think Apple is okay with that. For one, it will strengthen Apple’s current ecosystem of services and products. Second, assuming it’s a well designed and useful product, it will help people get and stay healthy. Apple may be willing to “take the hit” for the common good, as illustrated by Tim Cook’s retort to a conservative finance group who wanted him to commit to only doing things that were profitable in regard to Apple’s energy sustainability programs, “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI.”