#iwatch

Yuichiro Kanematsu on the forthcoming iWatch:

Apple appears confident of the new product. According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year.

Both Nikkei and Recode believe this device is coming this October.

Also:

Apple is also in partnership with Nike. According to sources familiar with the matter, the two companies have likely agreed to integrate their services in the future. The sports equipment maker is expected to eventually pull out of the device business to concentrate on services.

Thought so. The other shoe, has indeed dropped.

Ben Thompson:

Interestingly, both Apple and Nike have markedly similar business models: as various pundit never tire of telling us, Apple is selling a commodity and is doomed to inevitable margin pressure and/or massive loss of share in the face of good-enough cheap Android. For better or worse we in tech are stuck with these folks, because who knows what they would make of a company like Nike, selling pieces of leather and bits of fabric. Talk about a commodity! And yet, there is Nike, sporting a ~45% gross margin in an industry that averages 33%. Clearly they are more than just an apparel maker.

Lost in the story of the demise of the FuelBand is just how similar Nike and Apple are in many respects. Apple’s “iWatch” may not be the reason Nike is killing off the FuelBand, but both companies will be better off as a result of a partnership in this space — as will consumers.

Nick Statt:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET.

Yikes. Though the reality is that this seemed inevitable as something Apple this way comes:

As Apple enters the fray, Nike has a potential partner. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was seen wearing a FuelBand at the company’s launch of the iPad mini in October of 2012, sits on Nike’s board, and has for the last nine years. That relationship has been fruitful over the years, helping Nike enter the wearable market as early as 2006, with the Nike+iPod shoe sensor package, with a strong brand partner.

I’ve been saying this for a while: Tim Cook remaining on Nike’s board while Apple readies its own health/fitness-focused device was awkward at best. Unless Nike decided to exit that business and instead partner with Apple on such a device…

(As an aside, Secret strikes first again on this news.)

Update: Nike has issued a fairly standard non-denial, denial. They’re admitting to the layoffs, but dismissing the notion that the FuelBand is being killed off. To which I say, as always with these types of statements: yet.

(Of course they’re not going to admit to killing the FuelBand right now, there is still product on the shelves — not to mention new color variations, long in the pipeline, about to launch. They could either kill the product and sell none of those or postpone that announcement and sell at least some of those. No-brainer.)

Jason Snell:

In other words, in four years the wearables market might grow to be one-tenth the size of today’s smartphone market—in units shipped. Presumably the average selling price of wearable items will be a fraction of that of smartphones, meaning the dollar value of the wearables market is even more minuscule compared to the smartphone market.

All of which means that wearables, while dramatic and exciting and with huge potential to change people’s lives, are never going to rival smartphones in terms of market size. Same goes for smart TV boxes. These are interesting, fun areas of technological change. But the smartphone—that boring old Internet-connected 64-bit supercomputer in your pocket that just keeps improving year after year—is going to be the big dog in the tech world for years to come. Apple’s future success or failure will be dependent on the iPhone, and to a lesser extent the iPad, not on a smartwatch.

That’s exactly right. I’ve been saying this for a while: there is no industry, save maybe the oil business, that could yield the type of profits Apple is used to with the iPhone. And that points to a lot of disappointment in the eyes of Wall Street no matter what comes — unless Apple buys Exxon.

An insanely detailed leak of Apple’s forthcoming Healthbook software (likely a part of iOS 8) by Mark Gurman:

Each category of functionality is a card in the Healthbook. Cards are distinguished by a color, and the tabs can be arranged to fit user preferences. As can be seen in the above images, Healthbook has sections that can track data pertaining to bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight.

The big question, as Gurman notes at the end, is which devices will supply the data to Healthbook? Certainly, the iPhone itself is one (especially the models with an M7 chip). And it sure sounds like some sort of forthcoming “iWatch" would be another. But given the scope of Healthbook, it also seems likely to me that Apple will allow third-party devices to work with the software. This being Apple, you can be sure such a list will be curated, at least at first.

To that end, just remember that Tim Cook remains on Nike’s Board of Directors…

Thomas Lee and David R. Baker reporting on some of the potential spaces Apple is exploring for new products:

Holman’s role in Apple’s medical ambitions is particularly intriguing because of his pioneering audio work in movies. As corporate technical director at Lucasfilm, Holman developed revolutionary THX technology that consistently reproduces high-quality sound in movie theaters and homes that most closely matches the original audio mix of films.

Though Apple has never confirmed it, the company hired Holman in 2011 to “provide audio direction,” according to his LinkedIn profile. At the time, observers assumed Holman would focus his efforts on boosting the audio quality of MacBooks and iPhones.

But under Holman, Apple is exploring ways to measure noise “turbulence” as it applies to blood flow. The company wants to develop software and sensors that can predict heart attacks by identifying the sound blood makes as it tries to move through an artery clogged with plaque, the source said.

The “Apple Car” rumors are sexy, but something like this has the potential to be massive and much more important. And it once again likely points to Apple thinking about wearables as a business far beyond a watch face that can display push notifications.

Doing Something First Versus Doing Something Right

It begins. While the world has been speculating about Apple’s iWatch project for years, we’re finally starting to get some tangible information. And if what’s being said is true — and I believe a lot of it is — we’re going to see Apple do what they do best: make the first-movers look like fools.

That’s not to say the iWatch1 will be a huge success — nothing is guaranteed, not even for Apple. And this device sounds quite a bit more ambitious than some of Apple’s previous endeavors in pure consumer electronics. But I do believe that when we do see the iWatch, all the comparable devices will seem decidedly amateur by comparison.

We see this over and over again. Apple is rarely the first-mover in a space. MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, etc. But when they do move, they do so with a product that is best situated to actually succeed in the market.

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The iPhone Company

It’s Apple earnings day which means two things:

1) Wall Street freaking out amidst record numbers.

2) Lots of people on Twitter linking to lots of different charts trying to explain Apple’s quarter.

I’m pretty sure we’ve reached peak chart.

The issue is that the only real things these charts show at this point is that Apple is both a habitual company and a money-making machine. And, to some extent, they prove the law of large numbers. The charts aren’t going up-and-to-the-right as fast as they used to because well, there are only so many people in the world who can buy Apple products.

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Joshua Brustein:

The biggest prize for Nike may have come last week, when Apple (AAPL) said its new iPhone would have sensors allowing people to use their phones to keep track of their Fuel points. Apple’s oft-predicted, never-confirmed smartwatch would presumably be a major threat to the FuelBand, but the two companies seem pretty cozy right now. Nike said on Tuesday that it still has no plans to make a Nike+ app for Android, and Olander indicated there are too many devices on the Android operating system to offer a consistent user experience. (He didn’t mention anything about Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s presence on Nike’s board.)

Maybe this is naiveté, but given all the signals between the two companies recently (number one being that Tim Cook is still on Nike’s board), I’m starting to be more sure that any wearable Apple does will be in cooperation with Nike, not opposed to them. 

Anonymous asked:

In the Oct 22 event invite there is so much emphasis on apple leaves rather than the apple itself. Also "cover" seems somewhat related to wearables. Do you think Apple is going to unveil the iWatch?

Nah. I think the reading of these invites as puns is pretty overblown. Maybe they’re being cute about a new kind of cover for the iPad — or maybe the pun is simply that we’ll now have many more screens to cover. But we’re not see the iWatch tomorrow.