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Apple Inc. (AAPL) iWatch: Laying The Foundation

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a team of about 100 engineers working on an iWatch, according to a report earlier this year from Bloomberg. But Apple’s iPhone media event came and went, and we’ve still yet to see this smartwatch.

In fact, Samsung beat Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to the market. Last Wednesday the company unveiled a $299 Galaxy Gear Smartwatch with a one-day battery life. But what about Apple?

Jony Ive, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Built right into the iPhone 5s are the likely beginnings of a future smart-er watch.

The M7
Until now, the system-on-a-chip built into Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS devices played the normal role of a microprocessor with the additional duties of motion sensing. In the iPhone 5s, Apple was able to give its new A7 a dedicated sidekick, the M7 coprocessor. Built specifically to capture motion data, the M7 is able to process motion with a much higher level of efficiency.

As described on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s website:

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.

Nike’s fitness app, enabled by M7 coprocessor, on the iPhone 5S. Source. Apple website.

This changes up the game for not only health and fitness apps, but for health and fitness devices, too.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s VP of marketing said it better than anyone else: “With new software and applications you’re going to get a whole new level of health and fitness solutions never before possible on a mobile phone.”

Could one of the solutions he was referring to be the iWatch?

Laying the foundation
The M7 acts as “a better hub for wearable accessories, whether they are made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or anyone else,” said Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, as reported by Financial Times‘ journalist Tim Bradshaw.

Even more, “Based on motion data collected from real-world use of the iPhone 5s, most likely using its own employees as guinea pigs, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be able to optimise its designs for the iWatch — thus reducing the risks inherent in introducing any new technology without large-scale public testing,” Bradshaw explained.

Though the M7 has immediate implications, it also has powerful implications for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s future products that shouldn’t be ignored.

Is the iWatch imminent?
Maybe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) really does have 100 engineers working on an iWatch. And maybe the M7 is their first solution to an imminent move into wearables.

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