As we warned you a couple weeks ago, Apple is having one of their big media unveilings tomorrow in San Francisco, and it's likely to include both the iPhone 6, and the long-awaited device the media has dubbed the iWatch — the rumors and speculation about which date back well over a year. Here's what we know so far about the wearable device that will likely be called the iWatch, but may be called something else.

  • Over a year ago it was revealed that Apple was working with Corning, the company that developed the Gorilla Glass used on the iPhone, to develop a bendable glass product called Willow Glass, for likely use in a wearable device.
  • It's been widely reported that one of the iWatch's primary functions, apart from providing quick communication with an iPhone — and telling time without reaching in one's pocket — will be health and fitness related. The June launch of iOS 8 hinted at some of this capability with its health-related bells and whistles.
  • Additionally, Apple's most recent patent application includes use of a near-field communication (NFC) antenna, likely for use in retail-payment situations, and wireless charging functionality. Either technology could also be used in the iPhone 6.
  • According to a new piece in the New York Times, a top-tier team of executives and engineers at the company has been working on the iWatch, including people instrumental to the design and software behind the iPhone and iPad, like Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations; Jonathan Ive, Apple’s head of design; and Kevin Lynch, "formerly chief technology officer of Adobe, who has been supervising the watch’s software."
  • Also on the team is Jay Blahnik, "a fitness consultant who worked on Nike’s FuelBand device" (the watch is likely to have Nike-inspired biometric sensors)"; and "Michael O’Reilly, a former chief medical officer of the Masimo Corporation, a company based in Irvine, Calif., that makes devices for monitoring patients."
  • For the marketing side, Apple recruited three major players in the fashion/accessories realm, indicating that they are aiming for more than just geek appeal for the device. That team is Patrick Pruniaux, former vice-president of sales at Tag Heuer; Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry CEO; and former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve.
  • Apple trademarked the name 'iWatch' in multiple countries, but they have also trademarked the name 'iTime,' along with a diagram of a device that looks like a wristwatch but is referred to as a "wrist-worn electronic device." The iTime is said to be able to be removed from the wristband, and can "communicate with another device."
  • The new device, whatever it's called, will clearly be paired with HealthKit, Apple's new family of app tools for tracking fitness and health statistics, which the company recently forbade app developers from connecting to iCloud or sharing its data with third parties, for privacy reasons.
  • As the NYT also notes, via hints in the Walter Isaacson biography, the watch is likely the last big initiative at Apple that late CEO Steve Jobs personally drove, inspired by his own negative experiences with the health-care industry in his last years.
  • The price is likely to be in the $300 range, with a higher-end version possibly available for $400.


All previous iWatch coverage on SFist.