Tim Cook says to expect “an army of new products this fall”. Apple has already announced the release of new Mac Pro’s, Mac Airs, OS X Mavericks and most importantly the newly designed iOS 7 during WWDC 2013. So what other brigade of products can we expect to see marching in as we await for Apple to ‘release the Kraken’?
It’s no real secret that Apple is trying hard to bolster its retail operations. The Apple CEO expressed his disappointment with current reports citing that 80% of all iPhones are not purchased from its retail stores. Cook believes that the iPhone is Apple’s “gateway product” to get people onto their showroom floor so that they may be introduced to other Apple devices. The company has already introduced its Back to School promotion as an incentive to students who shop and buy in Apple stores, receiving $50-$100 gift cards for their purchases, and Apple is said to be gearing up for many more new in-store incentives to come in the next few months.
The reason for this is that Apple wants to increase the foot traffic in its stores in order to boost sales of the new products they are about to reveal in the upcoming months. One of those products we know is the not-yet-announced iPhone 5S, and possibly the new “Low-Cost” or budget iPhone that we are already seeing leaked pictures of throughout the internet.
But it’s very possible that Apple will be introducing a few new devices they haven’t mentioned yet. We almost don’t need confirmation from Apple to know there is going to be a new iPad and new iPad Mini 2, we are pretty sure those are coming with the new iPhone’s. It’s the wildcard rumor at the possibility of a new smart watch that has everyone talking. Tim Cook has already said that Apple is interested in the future of wearable tech. So far, that’s something that hasn’t been completely agreeable with the foggy acceptance of Google Glass. While something worn on your face directly in the path of your eye sight is hard to look over, the idea of a smart watch is something already proven possible by the success of such items like the Pebble watch. There are already a few pieces of evidence bouncing around the world that an Apple branded smart watch may be closer than we think.
On June 3rd it was revealed that Apple had applied for a “iWatch” trademark in Japan. It’s the first time we have officially seen the two names together, but Apple didn’t stop there. They also applied for the iWatch name in Russia, Mexico, and Turkey as well. It is reported that companies like that of Probendi, an Italian software company, already hold a trademark for the name “iWatch”. While it can’t be confirmed, we can all but bet negotiations for rights to the “iWatch” name have already begun with current trademark holders in other countries alike. Its looking as though Apple is seeking rights to the name world-wide, and that’s not something they would do unless they were serious about putting it to use pretty soon.
Another point is that Apple has recently restructured its management and hired the former CEO of the French luxury company Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Deneve, to work on unnamed “special projects”. So why would hiring the CEO of a french luxury company to work on “special projects” be a clue? Deneve worked at Apple in Europe in sales and marketing between 1990 and 1997, so he has history with Apple already. But most importantly, if Apple were to design a device that could be worn and seen more consistently than something you stuffed into your pocket, it’s “special project” would quickly become a piece of tech fused with fashion. Apple would be making a smart move by having someone like Deneve to make sure its new “iWatch” was marketed not only as a personal device, but as a piece of personal style and expression.
Lastly, in the past few weeks, Apple was awarded a patent for a “flexible battery pack”, something that would be perfect and necessary for a smart watch . The patent shows how a series of batteries can attach together and “be shaped to fit a form factor of the electronic device”. While they did not name a watch, or the device for that matter, a wearable computerized device will need to have a new type of battery that can both supply enough power and i fitting enough to be hidden. This type of design will also open new doors in the future for bendable screen technology, which is only currently hindered by the size and demands of the battery technology.
Apple has not confirmed nor denied any specific new devices for the fall, but Apple holds pretty strong to tradition on releasing new devices leaving us to expect a new iPhone in mid-September. There is also too many leaked pictures and evidence of a “low-cost” iPhone to deny that it won’t be released right along side the new iPhone 5S, so expect to see that rainbow of plastic to fill the shelves just in time for the holiday rush. Keeping with tradition, Apple never releases a new device without a new iOS, and iPad’s always follow the iPhone’s. The only real surprise will be if Apple shocks us with an iWatch in time for Christmas. We can only wait impatiently speculating to find out.
- Apple iWatch Rumors Strengthen as Company Hires Former YSL CEO (laptopmag.com)
- iWatch Rumors: Apple Files Trademark for Name in Japan (hngn.com)