As we head into September it seems as if you cannot open a website these days without bumping into another leaked picture of the new iPhone 6 or the updated iPad Air.

But where are all the leaked images of Apple's smartwatch - expected to be called the iWatch or iBand and set for unveiling as soon as October?

The complete lack of leaks has led some to suggest that the iWatch is a mythical project dreamt up by Apple fanboys the world over - like the fabled Apple television set which these days even Gene Munster has stopped talking about.

That however is unlikely to be the case - there is too much evidence to the contrary.

Apple has been talking up the wearable tech market for a while, it has made dozens of high-profile appointments in the areas of design, fitness, health and fashion and it has launched the HealthKit platform in iOS 8, all suggesting the iWatch is coming sooner rather than later.

New product category

No, the reason images of the iWatch have not leaked is that this is a new product from Apple and likely won't go on sale for some months after it was launched.

Look at Apple's last two major new product launches.

  • The original iPad was unveiled in January 2010 but didn't go on sale until three months later
  • The original iPhone was unveiled in January 2007 but it didn't go on sale until five months later

Apple is likely to unveil the iWatch in October, alongside updated iPad Air and iPad mini models, but it is unlikely to sell the smartwatch until early 2015, which means the device has not gone into production in any great quantity yet, and this is why we have no leaked images of what the iWatch will look like.

The same think happened before the the launch of the original iPad and iPhone, neither of which leaked before Steve Jobs unveiled them on stage.

People have become so used to seeing leaks of the latest iPhones/iPads that it seems strange not to see leaks of a product they have heard so much talk about.

Supply chain

Most, if not all, leaked images of the iPhone and iPad come from the supply chain in China.

iPhone 6 camera
One of the many leaked iPhone 6 images  Feld&Volk

Initially Apple was very successful at keeping the design of its new iPhones or iPads under wraps ahead of their announcement, but in recent years it has become more and more difficult.

Take for example the plethora of iPhone 6 leaks we have seen in recent weeks. Apple is reported to have ordered up to 80 million of these phones from its suppliers, which means more people are seeing the devices and so more are going to leak them.

The final design of the iWatch (if it has been finalised) is probably known by a small handful of people in Cupertino and we won't know what it looks like until Tim Cook pulls back his shirt sleeve on stage later this year - so don't hold your breath for iWatch leaks any time soon.