Apple is to release a 1.6in iWatch and two versions of a 1.8 inch model between September and December of this year, according to reports.

The latest details about Apple's widely-rumoured smartwatch come from Taiwan's Economic Daily, which also reports that the Cupertino-based company will be releasing a 12.9in iPad before the end of the year.

The 1.8in model of the iWatch will come in a standard and premium version, the latter will feature a sapphire crystal display.

Previous speculation surrounding the device has suggested that the device will feature biometric sensors, a curved screen and possibly even solar-panel charging capabilities.

$300 pricetag

A report released yesterday forecast Apple's iWatch to sell between 30 million and 60 million units in its first year on the market - more than sales of the iPhone or iPad in their first years of sales.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, who authored the report, also predicted that the device would cost around $300 (£175).

If these figures prove to be accurate, Apple would generate $9 billion in revenue and push its share price up to $132 by this time next year.

Wearables revolution

Wearable tech is looking increasingly likely to become the next big sector in consumer technology and Apple's iWatch will be facing competition from both Google and Microsoft.

At Google's annual developer conference last month the tech giant showed off smartwatches from Samsung, Motorola and LG - all running its new Android Wear operating system that aims to standardise the way such devices are used.

Meanwhile Microsoft is set to launch a sensor-laden smartwatch of its own by the end of the year.

It was learnt recently by IBTimes UK from sources close to the matter that the Microsoft device is expected to feature a blood-glucose monitor and a UV sensor