The Russian-language paper Izvestia is reporting that Apple has filed an application to secure the iWatch trademark in the country, the latest piece of evidence that Apple's plans to release a smartwatch of some sort remain ongoing.
While Apple typically purchases trademarks for upcoming products rather secretly - often through the use of shell corporations - the acquisition of the 'iWatch' trademark doesn't appear to have been done under the radar.
Apple has filed for ownership of product names before their official announcement in the past, but historically those registrations have been done discreetly overseas under shell corporation names. For example, Apple began obtaining the international rights to the iPad name early as 2006 through a British shell corporation named "IP Application Development Limited," or "IPAD Ltd."This week's report from Russia gave no indication that the alleged "iWatch" trademark filing was done under any such secrecy. It does claim that the first registered "iWatch" trademark filing was made in Jamaica in December of 2012.
While Apple is notoriously secretive about its product plans, Apple CEO Tim Cook last week wasn't shy about disparaging Google Glass while simultaneously noting that wearable technology is an area of profound interest for Apple.
"There are lots of things to solve," Cook explained. "It's ripe for exploration."
During Apple's most recent earnings conference call, Cook also said that Apple has a a lot of new products in store beginning in late 2013 going all the way through 2014. The takeaway, of course, is that we shouldn't expect any huge new iWatch-related product announcement anytime soon. Indeed, the latest rumor suggests that Apple's iWatch won't be released until late 2014.
In the meantime, WWDC is slated to kick of this Monday and we'll finally get a glimpse at iOS 7 and the latest incarnation of OS X.