We are only 3 days away from what could be Apple's biggest keynote in a decade, and it's time for me to make more predictions.
In Part 3 of my multi-part prediction, I will focus on Apple's rumoured wearable device.
Disclaimer: while I have evidence to prove some of my predictions, these are in no way guarantees and should not be treated as such.
A Watch For Everyone
Provided numerous analysts haven't been blowing smoke for the last 6 months, Apple will be unveiling a wearable device on Tuesday.
What will it do? What will it look like? What will it cost? All of these questions are unanswered and will mostly likely remain that way until Tuesday - but I will provide my predictions to give you a better sense of what to expect.
"For something to work here," said Cook, gesturing at his wrist, "you first have to convince people it's so incredible that they want to wear it."
There's no debating the most important part of a wearable device is that people actually want to wear it. The debate of whether someone will want to wear it is two-pronged. First, it has to be fashionable. Secondly, it has to do something to warrant a spot on your wrist.
I will tackle the latter question eventually, but let's focus on what it's going to look like.
Based on the recent fashion industry hires Apple has made in the past year, I suspect the wearable to be something light, unisex and incognito. Other than that, it's hard to say exactly what it will look like.
Recent reports suggest it may have a square display, while others have suggested circular. Judging by the difficultly of reading text on a circular screen, I believe Apple's wearable will have a square display. I'd imagine that in order for it to fit different sized wrists, Apple will offer female and male versions (the latter with a slightly larger screen).
A few months ago, I speculated on a potential wearable from Apple and what it should be capable of. Here's what I came up with back then:
- Has to be waterproof
- Has to provide useful information while working out (calories burnt, distance run, etc) AND while in normal use (steps taken, minutes active, etc).
- Has to serve as a mobile notification centre from my phone.
- A single battery charge would have to last a week or longer.
- Ideally it would have the option to play music while paired with Bluetooth headphones (whether it be locally stored music or something like iTunes Radio).
- Siri would be a key component, both for listening and for dictating system notifications.
- It would have to sync data back to my phone for a more detailed look at past history and performance.
- And finally, it would have to do all of this while still looking hip.
I believe all of these points are still valid. Make no mistake, this is a health device first and a utility device second.
One thing I never mentioned in my previous report is the possibility of Applications. There is little doubt in my mind Apple will allow 3rd-party developers to use the iWatch as a platform. I would be surprised if we don't see a few examples on Tuesday.
The one part of my previous prediction which I'm not feeling confident about is one week battery life.
Recent reports are telling us we shouldn't get our hopes up about battery life, but I don't think it will be as bad as some suggest.
I could see Apple offering two modes for this device: one in which everything works and one in which it only tracks fitness and offers the basic functions (telling the time, for example). This could be linked through a 'do-not-disturb' mode which would prevent incoming notifications, drastically improving battery life.
If this is the case, I could see Apple promising three day battery life (although it would go down to one day if everything is enabled).
I've been thinking about a name for Apple's wearable for a while now. Without a proper name to identify it, the media has resorted to calling it the 'iWatch'. Apple could use the iWatch name, which is already out in the news, for reach alone.
However, the only reason I can't see Apple using the iWatch name is that it propels the belief that it's primarily a watch and leaves out the idea of it being a fitness/lifestyle brand.
I'm the worst when it comes to naming things, but here are a few other guesses:
Whatever it's called, I'm willing to bet it follows the iSomething naming scheme.
I think the iWatch will be priced similarly to a current-gen iPod Touch. I see it starting around $250, and ranging upwards to $400.
Based on the lack of part leaks, I think the current reports which put an iWatch release date sometime in early 2015 are spot-on. There's no doubt Apple would love to get this thing out before Christmas, but don't forget that January is the best-selling month for gym memberships (cough, New Year's Resolutions, cough).
It's an exciting time to be an Apple fan.