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Rumours suggest Apple is working on a iWatch, but here are five reasons it will never happen.
Over the weekend, numerous international media outlets carried reports that Apple was working on what is dubbed the iWatch - a tiny wearable device with a 1.5in screen which would work in conjunction with your iPhone and iPad.
While rumours about new Apple products is nothing new, it seems like end-of-year fatigue and a lack of other real news saw this story gain more prominence than it deserved.
The story eminates from a Chinese website which quoted sources within Apple's vast supply chain, and claimed the iWatch would be arriving in stores in the first half of 2013.
Rumours of a dedicated Apple watch have been around for some time, ever since Apple launched the square iPod nano back in 2010 - which could actually be worn as a watch using a strap accessory.
Most people enjoy reading about mythical Apple products - Apple's television set being the most recent example - but here are five reasons why Apple will not be launching an iWatch in 2013:
The story on the Chinese website says that Apple will not be designing the watch, but will be leaving that to Intel. Yes, you read that right, Intel. So according to the sources, Jony Ive will forego his normally obsessive control over every aspect of the design of Apple products and simply hand control to Intel. I don't think so.
Even if there was something lost in translation and Intel are simply involved in some way, it still doesn't make any sense. Intel produces x86 chips which are very power hungry, which would not be good for a watch which would need very long battery life.
Indeed because it is likely the low power Bluetooth 4.0 standard would be used, most of the serious processing could be done on the paired iPhone or iPad, meaning any Intel input would be pretty pointless.
The iPod nano range has a bit of a schizophrenic nature. Apple has changed its form factor on seven different occasions since first introducing it in 2005.
In 2010, the sixth generation iPod nano was revealed with a square form factor and no physical buttons. It featured 18 different clock-faces, and with the addition of a strap accessory, the nano could be worn as a watch.
However earlier this year Apple decided to ditch the square design and go back to a rectangular look for the nano.
Surely if Apple had been serious about producing an iWatch it would have modified the sixth generation nano's design, added Bluetooth 4.0 and re-branded it as the iWatch.
Ditching the watch-like design indicates that Apple won't be going down the iWatch route any time soon.
- No market
Even if Apple did go ahead with the iWatch, who would use it? With a 1.5in OLED screen, as these rumours suggest the watch would have, it would be hard even for Apple to make anything which would be fashionable and attractive to wear.
Consider the breadth and range of watches people wear at the moment, it would be hard to conceive that everyone would be willing to change to a single design from Apple.
There would of course be a core customer base of Apple fans who would want to wear one, but this would not be enough for Apple to make any serious money from it.
- It wouldn't be any good
An iWatch simply wouldn't be any good. With a 1.5in screen, all you're really going to be able to do is check the time and read messages and emails.
This may be convenient, but when you read a message you invariably reply to it, which would mean getting your phone out of your pocket anyway. A screen that size is not going to be able to produce a keyboard for you to type on.
You'll have a similar problem with other services you might want to use on-the-go, such as maps - where you'll end up scrolling for ages to find your destination.
For those hoping the iWatch would turn them into Dick Tracy and see them communicate with the world through their wrist, I'm afraid this is still a pipe dream.
- Others have tried and failed
Smart watches are nothing new. Microsoft tried to make them work as far back as 2004. Remember the Paparazzi watch it launched in conjunction with Swatch? Of course you don't, no one bought one. The project was finally killed earlier this year.
More recently Sony launched SmartWatch to accompany its line-up of Xperia smartphones, but again no one bought them, as they offered limited features and cost a lot.
The other major player in this area is the Pebble smart watch, which gained fame through its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. The watch - which has yet to be launched commercially - features an e-ink screen, accelerometer and vibrating motor.
It will work with Android or iOS, and connect using Bluetooth, promising a seven-day battery life. It will come with a number of pre-installed apps - including a cycling app and a golf range-finder app - and more will be available to download.
But, once again, the question is, who is going to buy one. While seven day battery life sounds good, regular watches don't need to be charged at all and the limited additional features mean it will probably have limited appeal.