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Apple taking flexible board samples for iWatch ahead of Sept. launch

04/09, 10:42am

Apple's main FCPB supplier plans $100 million in upgrades

Three flexible PCB suppliers have reportedly been delivering validation samples to Apple in preparation for iWatch production, sources tell Digitimes. The people are scarce on other details, but do say they expect Apple to announce the iWatch in September. A company called Zhen Ding is said to be Apple's largest FPCB supplier, and planning to spend $100 million to upgrade its capacity not just for the iWatch, but for greater demand of iPhone and iPad parts.

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Apple, Samsung, Google trying to court Swiss watchmakers

03/28, 12:16pm

Swatch turning away partnership deals

Apple, Google, and Samsung are among the wearable tech developers trying to court help from Swiss watchmakers, says the Financial Times. One of the core targets has been Swatch, the world's biggest watchmaker. "We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today," says Swatch CEO Nick Hayek. "However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement."

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Siri to integrate with third-party apps for iWatch, report says

03/05, 12:46pm

May solve smartwatch interface problems

Apple is working to expand Siri's third-party app integration with the iWatch in mind, a new report says. Siri already interacts with some third-party apps, like OpenTable or Wolfram Alpha, but in every case so far the companies have had to forge deals with Apple. The new scheme would allow third-party integration without an expressly signed agreement.

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TPK rumored as supplying touch panels for Apple iWatch

02/19, 10:22am

Display expected to use silver nanowire touchscreen tech

Apple may be using TPK as its touch panel supplier for the iWatch, according to rumors surfaced by the China Times. The watch is expected to use silver nanowire touchscreen technology developed by TPK in partnership with Nissha Printing. TPK is slated to start producing its first silver nanowire panels in April, but those for the iWatch aren't expected to enter mass production until much later, in the second half of the year.

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Apple considered buying Tesla in 2013, report hints

02/17, 10:41am

Newspaper also suggests iWatch might be able to predict heart attacks

Apple was at one point considering buying electric auto maker Tesla, a report from the San Francisco Chronicle suggests. The paper cites a source who says that in April of 2013, Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Apple's head of acquisitions -- Adrian Perica -- at the company's Cupertino headquarters. It's speculated that he might also have met with Apple CEO Tim Cook, a strong possibility given Musk's importance, especially if the two companies were exploring a buyout.

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Apple hires former Ceracor CTO Marcelo Lamego for sensor work

02/13, 10:25am

Company continues building iWatch technology team

Apple has hired on former Ceracor CTO Marcelo Malini Lamego as part of a research and development team, according to a LinkedIn profile update discovered by NetworkWorld. Ceracor specializes in non-invasive medical monitoring technologies. Lamego himself is credited with over 70 patents and patent applications, including ones related to sensors and patient monitoring; he has also published over 30 peer-reviewed papers on topics like neural networks and adaptive systems. Apple may, however, be more interested in his work as the lead scientist on Masimo's "Rainbow," a non-invasive monitoring tool that can track several different blood and physiological parameters at once.

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Apple hires on Masimo CMO Michael O'Reilly for likely iWatch work

01/31, 10:45am

Masimo responsible for oxygen-, pulse-monitoring tech

Apple has hired on Michael O'Reilly -- Masimo's former chief medical officer and EVP of Medical Affairs -- in what is likely an attempt at bolstering its iWatch team, reports say. O'Reilly is said to have actually left for Apple in July, but news only leaked to the public last week. Late Thursday, Masimo said it "could not dispute" the claims, effectively confirming them.

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Casio releases iPhone-compatible STB-1000 sports watch

01/07, 3:52pm

Compatible with handful of iPhone apps

Casio has launched the STB-1000, a new sports watch with Bluetooth 4.0 LE support. The watch tracks data such as pulse, elapsed time, and running speed and distance; for cyclists, it can monitor speed and pedal rotations. Some basic functions include daily alarms and countdown timers. The watch is water-resistant to a depth of 100m, and has a two-year battery life.

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Pebble Steel watch official, debuting later in January for $249

01/06, 3:49pm

More costly option switches to metal, Gorilla Glass

Following this morning's news leak, Pebble has officially announced the Steel, a more luxury-oriented watch. Unlike the original plastic-based Pebble, the new one is made of metal. The e-ink display is now also protected with Corning Gorilla Glass, used on many smartphones and tablets.

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Pebble Steel leaks, shows watch with metal casing, Gorilla Glass

01/06, 9:26am

Should be announced later today

Just ahead of a planned announcement later today, Pebble's new watch -- the Steel -- has reportedly leaked to the public. Its name stems from a switch from a plastic housing to metal. Two colors options are expected: one using brushed stainless steel, and another painted matte black.

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Pebble to make special announcement January 6

01/03, 10:47am

Hints at possibility of next-gen watch

Smarwatch maker Pebble will make a special CES announcement on Monday, January 6 at 11AM Pacific time, according to an official blog post. The event will be hosted by CEO Eric Migicovsky, and streaming on getpebble.com. Beyond that, the company hasn't revealed any details.

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Apple, Qualcomm seeing poor yields in smartwatch manufacturing

01/02, 12:07pm

Injection molding process allegedly to blame

Several wearable electronic devices -- namely the Apple iWatch and the Qualcomm Toq -- are seeing yield rates below 50 percent in manufacturing, supply chain sources claim. The trouble is said to involve surface treatments for metal injection-molded (MIM) chassis. While MIM used to be applied to internal designs, MIM is increasingly being used for external parts as well, requiring extra surface work. This appears to be at odds with the high quantities companies like Apple are demanding.

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Briefly: TomTom's MySports app, new Percent Mate calculator for iOS

12/02, 5:31pm

TomTom's GPS watches' new MySports mobile app, offering easy data upload

TomTom, a GPS gadget producer, has announced its latest software release to compliment its GPS watches. TomTom MySports offers flexibility to runners, cyclists and swimmers in respects to their interactions with their performance data. Users of the Sports Watch can upload and access their key performance information to the app without needing to connect to a computer.

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Differently-sized iWatches being produced for men, women, report says

11/13, 11:41am

Design would be unusual accommodation for Apple

Apple intends to build two different sizes of iWatch to suit both men and women, claims NPD DisplaySearch's David Hsieh. The analyst cites Apple sources, who indicate that men will be targeted with a 1.7-inch OLED, while women will get a 1.3-inch OLED. Hsieh's comments are featured in the Korea Herald, which on its own claims that the iWatch could ship as soon as this year; that's extremely unlikely however, as it's already mid-November and Apple always finishes its major product launches before Thanksgiving. Something as important as the iWatch would moreover demand a press event.

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LG Display close to deal to produce displays for Apple iWatch

10/29, 11:03am

Talks with Samsung were 'not productive'

LG Display is nearing a deal to provide OLED displays for Apple's iWatch, according to a Korean report. The Korea Herald adds that a RITEK subsidiary, RiTdisplay, will also be supplying OLEDs. HMC Investment Securities analyst Kim Young-woo in fact characterizes RiTdisplay as the main supplier, with LG serving as a secondary partner "to be safe." Left out of the equation is Samsung, which is reported to have met with Apple regarding iWatch screens but made no progress in negotiations.

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Apple testing at least three iWatch designs with flexible OLEDs

10/01, 4:14pm

Display could measure up to 1.5 inches

Apple is testing at least three iWatch designs based around flexible OLED displays, according to Korean publication The Chosun Ilbo. These include units with 1.3-, 1.4-, and 1.5-inch displays. The largest of those sizes would still be a tenth of an inch smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

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Apple hiring team for fitness-focused wearable computer, sources say

07/18, 12:00pm

Thought to be long-rumored iWatch

Apple has started assembling a team of people specializing in fitness, medical sensors, manufacturing, and hardware and software engineering in order to produce a fitness-focused wearable computer chock full of sensor technology, sources say. Apple is stated to have experimented with a number of designs in the past, including ones that could clip onto clothing, like an iPod shuffle. Currently though the company is thought to have returned to a wrist-wrapped device, likely the iWatch.

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Pebble passes over 275K watches sold, promises new iOS email support

07/11, 3:38pm

Gmail, IMAP accounts to get notifications

Pebble has sold over 275,000 units of its smartwatch so far, according to an announcement. Roughly 85,000 of those were sold through the pre-launch Kickstarter campaign, but the remaining 190,000 were sold via the Pebble website. The device is now available at retail as well through Best Buy.

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Apple files for Japanese 'iWatch' trademark [u]

07/02, 12:20am

May all but confirm name of upcoming smartwatch

(Update: Also applied for in Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey) Apple has applied for an "iWatch" trademark at the Japan Patent Office, according to Bloomberg. The filing was originally made on June 3, but appears to have been made public just last week. The Japanese trademark application follows ones reportedly made in Russia and Jamaica, the latter dating back to December 2012.

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Foxconn demos self-made smartwatch with health, notification features

06/27, 1:57pm

Manufacturer may be beating Apple to the punch

Hon Hai -- better known under its Foxconn brand -- has demonstrated a first-party smartwatch, reports say. The device can connect wirelessly to an iPhone, and display notifications for incoming phone calls and Facebook posts. Like some other smartwatches, it can monitor health signs like heartbeat and respiration, but with the bonus of tips on getting fitness up to par.

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Apple allegedly files for 'iWatch' name in Russia

06/05, 9:26am

Status of trademark still unsure

Apple has filed to register the "iWatch" product name in Russia, says local news site Izvestia.ru. The application is said to have been made under the 9th and 14th classes for the International Classification of Goods and Services. AppleInsider comments, though, that it hasn't been able to verify the registration through the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property.

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1.5-inch OLED screens being tested for Apple smartwatch, rumor says

05/20, 5:16pm

Early trial production of device expected to start soon

Apple is testing 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens for use in its upcoming smartwatch, claims Taiwanese publication the Economic Daily News. Apple is in fact said to have tried 1.8-inch screens, but judged that they were too big. The 1.5-inch panels are reportedly being manufactured by Taiwan's RiTdisplay, and use one-glass-solution touch sensors, which should allow Apple to keep the watch thin.

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Survey shows early interest in Apple iWatch

04/19, 3:42pm

Levels similar to interest in Apple tablet, Intel-based Mac

An undercurrent of interest in an Apple "iWatch" already exists, even though the accessory is still just rumored, a new 451 Research survey indicates. The firm polled 1,713 people between March 4 and the 19th, of which most respondents were North American. The people were provided with a list of "probable" iWatch features, such as calls, texting, Siri, mobile payments, and health sensors. It's commonly believed that the watch will pair with an iPhone or iPad.

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Apple watch to run full version of iOS, report claims

03/04, 11:05am

Prototypes allegedly seeing serious battery life issues

Apple's upcoming watch will run a complete version of iOS, say sources for The Verge. The alternative is thought to have been scaling up the iPod nano's OS, which is similarly touch-based, but unable to run any apps that aren't pre-installed. Some previous-generation Nanos were explicitly designed to act like watches, including multiple watchface options.

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Apple 'iWatch' could be out by end of 2013

03/04, 9:54am

Jonathan Ive said to have long interest in watch technology

Apple is hoping to launch its planned smartwatch by the end of 2013, says Bloomberg, elaborating on information it received from sources last month. The sources also indicate that some of the specific features Apple is considering are making phone calls, seeing the identity of incoming callers, and checking map position. It might also build in some health tracking technology, such as a pedometer and a heartrate monitor.

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Apple patent application could support 'iWatch' claims

02/21, 12:21pm

Display itself would wrap around wrist

A newly-published Apple patent application may support claims that Apple has been working on a watch. AppleInsider notes that the filing, Bi-stable spring with flexible display, shows a unit with a screen that wraps around a person's wrist. Like other smartwatches, the Apple concept would connect to supporting devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and pull data from them in real time.

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Apple experimenting on 'watch-like' device, reports say

02/11, 9:45am

NYT claims watch would use curved glass

Apple is currently experimenting on a "watch-like" device, according to sources for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The Times claims that the device is based on iOS, and employs curved glass. While curved glass isn't unique in the electronics world, the Times sources suggest that Apple is exploiting knowledge of how it can curve around the human body. The paper speculates that Apple could turn to Corning's Willow Glass, which can be curved far enough to wrap around someone's wrist.

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Rumor has Apple, Intel cooperating on Bluetooth watch

12/27, 11:51am

Claims watch will feature Siri/iPhone integration

Apple and Intel are collaborating on a producing a Bluetooth-capable smart watch, claims Chinese site TGBus. The device will allegedly use a 1.5-inch OLED screen from RITEK subsidiary RiTdisplay, and ship in the first half of 2013. Few other details are mentioned, but it's expected to integrate with Siri and the iPhone, allowing people to take calls through the watch alone.

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Microsoft shutters MSN Direct service

01/02, 10:55pm

Move affects some GPS devices, SPOT watches

As expected, Microsoft has finally put an end to its MSN Direct wireless service. The aging system took advantage of FM signals to transmit data to a variety of devices, including Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) watches, in-car and standalone GPS navigation systems, and other gadgets.

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VEA intros Sportive watch with 1.5" touchscreen, 8GB storage

07/05, 5:10pm

SOS button sends GPS location to rescuers

VEA Digital has introduced a new watch, the Sportive, that centers around a 1.5-inch touchscreen. The device offers a variety of smartphone-like features, enabling users to take advantage of a camera, GPS, 8GB of onboard storage, an MP3 player and Bluetooth connectivity.

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RIM plans new Bluetooth headset, FM transmitter

05/08, 1:10pm

Upcoming BlackBerry gear

At least two new BlackBerry accessories are well into development, according to RIM accessories VP Antoine Boucher. The first is a new Bluetooth headset, so far codenamed the Alpha 1, which uses an over-the-ear loop combined with a molded in-ear bud. The unit is said to be larger than the BlueAnt Q1 but smaller than the Jawbone Prime, and equipped with noise cancellation as well as a micro USB charging port, now standard on RIM hardware. The device is however limited to mono output, as well as simple on/off and dial/hangup controls. Text-to-speech and speech-to-text functions may be supported in the future.

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Sony Ericsson intros Bluetooth watches for women

09/24, 10:25am

Sony Ericsson BT watches

Sony Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will supplement its mens line of MBW-150 Bluetooth watches with a womens line called the MBW-200. Made in conjunction with watchmaker Fossil, the timepieces use Bluetooth to connect with compatible handsets and display caller ID and vibrate when the phone is ringing or a text message is received. Users can then mute or reject the call via the watch. Either of the three distinctly styled timepieces will also act as a remote control for the music playing from the handset.

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