As any Apple critic will be quick to tell you, it's been a while since Apple has released a game-changing product. And despite mountains of cash that would make most other companies on the planet green with envy, some of these same critics are quick to proclaim that Apple's influence as a tech innovator is waning.
The counter, of course, to this is that true innovation takes time and can't be rolled out on an arbitrary time schedule. Over and above that, the Apple rumor mill for quite some time has been rumbling with news that a new product category may soon be on the way.
I'm of course referring to Apple's rumored iWatch, a device which has been making its way through the Apple rumor mill in one form or another for quite some time now.
For those who can't wait to get their hands on Apple's next innovative product, the latest reports suggest that the wait may be longer than anticipated.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with a historically respectable track record with respect to Apple rumors, the launch date for Apple's iWatch might be pushed back to 2015.
MacRumors relays the pertinent portion of Kuo's analysis:
We reiterate our view that iWatch, as compared to existing products, and as Apple's (US) first attempt at a wearable device, represents a much higher level of difficulty for the company as regards component and system design, manufacturing and integration between hardware and software. While we are positive on iWatch and believe that the advantages of the design and business model behind it are difficult to copy, we think, given the aforementioned challenges, that the launch could be postponed to 2015.
Indeed, without even delving into what type of features the iWatch may bring to the table, it stands to reason that if Apple plans to get into a completely new product category, it has some interesting tricks up its sleeve. And naturally, getting things just right the first time is likely to be fraught with hurdles.
Nonetheless, there's a reason why people are getting so excited about the prospects of an Apple iWatch.
Consider this: before the iPhone launched, there was no shortage of mockups speculating as to what an Apple-branded phone might look like and be able to accomplish. When Steve Jobs walked up on stage at Macworld 2007 and unveiled the actual iPhone, the device blew even the most outrageous mockups out of the water.
Feature wise, it's widely believed that the iWatch will sport a number of health-oriented sensors, and to that end, we reported earlier this summer that Apple had hired the lead software engineer from Atlas Wearables, a company working on what looks like a wearable fitness tracker on steroids. What's more, Apple over the past 24 months or so has hired a bevy of folks with deep experience in the medical sensor field along with exercise and sleep experts.
It's a good bet that the iWatch will be an amazing device; we just my have to wait a little bit longer to actually use it.