The Financial Times has heard from the usual ephemeral “people familiar with Apple’s plans” that the company is in the midst of a huge effort to hire staff to develop its rumored smartwatch. The Financial Times vaguely notes that the step up in hiring “raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology” and suggests that the iWatch won’t be seen in public until late 2014.
Let’s think about these rumors: Earlier this year there was mention of a 100-person design team in place for the iWatch. That’s a sizable effort. Recent trademark applications for the name “iWatch” suggest the company is genuinely interested in wearable tech–it’s hard to imagine this name going on any other kind of product.
But Apple’s long-held secrecy policy means it won’t talk about future plans. We don’t know how serious it is about making an iWatch, and it may have filed for trademarks protectively. For the Financial Times to add fuel to the iWatch fire, then say it “casts doubt” on Apple’s ability to develop this type of tech, is complete nonsense. It’s baseless speculation about a rumor concerning a rumor. The upshot is we simply don’t know yet, though the continual buzz online about the project could indicate that the public at least is ready for the idea. The sale of 275,000 Pebble smartwatches after its $10 million record-breaking Kickstarter project is yet more support for this notion.