Several weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that Apple has a team of 100 employees working on an iWatch, ranging from engineers to marketers. And now, Bloomberg reports Apple is seeking to have the device available this year. The report provides new details, citing a source familiar with Apple's plans. Tentative features include the ability to make calls, caller ID, map coordinates, a pedometer for counting steps, and sensors for monitoring health data. As we've noted before, the iWatch would likely be a "connected device," that is, it would get its functionality via a wireless connection with your iPhone.
The Bloomberg article says watches are expected to be a $60 billion industry in 2013, and smartwatches are an increasingly important segment of that market. The Pebble watch has gotten off to a good start, and David Pogue of The New York Times recently reviewed five smartwatches. He wasn't' impressed, saying smartwatches so far have been "buggy, half-baked, and delayed."
However, according to Bloomberg, Apple's timing is right, and smartwatches are likely to catch on with consumers. Apple must think so, given the amount of resources devoted to the project and the number of patents Apple has filed.
Bloomberg also notes that wearable computing, such as Google Glass, is starting to take off. Apple really has no option other than to jump into this arena. It also points out that famed Apple designer Jony Ive has had a long-term interest in watches.
Bloomberg also posted a CNET video that discusses the market for, and the features of, an iWatch.