Swatch looking to release smartwatch to compete in wearables market

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Date: Friday, February 6th, 2015, 04:38
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

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It’s been a while since Swatch was considered hip and/or cutting edge, but the company might be seeing something in the wearables market.

Swatch Group AG announced plans to start selling a smartwatch within the next three months, potentially pitting the Swiss maker of colorful plastic timepieces against the debut of the Apple Watch.

The device will communicate via Near Field Communications and won’t have to be charged, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.

Analysts stated that the market for such timepieces, which enable phone or data communication, will probably reach about US$10 billion in 2018, Citigroup Inc. analysts forecast last year, with half of the market coming from traditional watch wearers switching to the devices.

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Under Armour purchases My Fitness Pal, Endomondo to expand wearable data portfolio

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Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 12:52
Category: iOS, News, Software, Wearables

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When one of the largest fitness attire companies on the planet starts to look into wearables, people take notice.

Under Armour has apparently shelled out $560 million to buy two fitness apps, giving it access to a mountain of data about health enthusiasts that it hopes will help it to sell more sportswear.

The company will pay US$475 million to buy MyFitnessPal, a HealthKit-integrated app that helps people lose weight by letting them record what they eat and count calories. It will also pay US$85 million for Endomondo, an app from Denmark that lets people track their activity, whether that’s running or doing gymnastics.

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Lumoid to allow customers to rent Apple Watch before buying it

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Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 11:56
Category: News, retail, Wearables

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If you’re on the fence and hesitant about buying an Apple Watch, you might be able to rent one first.

A gadget rental outfit called Lumoid plans to rent Apple Watches as part of its wearable rental program for consumers, said, Aarthi Ramamurthy, the company’s founder and CEO.

Lumoid will roll out a waiting list on its website later this week for consumers looking to get their hands on the device when it begins shipping in April.

Although details about the Apple Watch are still emerging, pricing rumors have the watch retailing for between US$349 for the Sport model and US$5,000 for the gold edition.

“Before breaking the bank on the smartwatch, consumers should be able to try it out,” Ramamurthy said.

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Rumor: Apple to adopt jewelry store protocols, increase security for gold Apple Watch sales

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Date: Monday, February 2nd, 2015, 08:27
Category: Hardware, retail, Rumor, Wearables

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With the Apple Watch shipping in April, Apple may be changing some of its retail methods to match the product.

According to sources, Apple is planning several new features for its retail stores to support the Gold Watch Edition of the device. As reported several months ago, Apple is planning on allowing customers to actually try on the watches and test out different band styles inside of stores. With the high-expected price tag of the gold watch models, Apple will also step up its security features for stores.

Over on 9to5Mac, there’s the following:

Apple will outfit its official retail stores with safes to house the more expensive, gold “Edition” variants of the upcoming Apple Watch. The safes will likely be used to carry both to-be-sold inventory as well as to store demo units from the show floor overnight. The custom-designed safes will be outfitted with Apple Watch MagSafe chargers in order to keep the demo units charged up and ready to go for the next day of business. Apple has already begun installing the safes in some stores ahead of the Apple Watch’s expected release in April…

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Cook confirms Apple Watch will ship in April

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Date: Tuesday, January 27th, 2015, 19:24
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

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It’s not a specific release date, but the Apple Watch now has a slated month for its release.

Per Macworld, Apple CEO confirmed that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. Cook dropped the news on Apple’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday afternoon, saying Apple Watch is “on schedule” and will ship in April. The company reportedly hasn’t publicly committed to a date because Cook and co. are still working on the device’s battery life.

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Apple Watch battery life, CPU specs leaked

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Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015, 18:59
Category: Hardware, News, Software, Wearables

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Some Apple Watch battery specs may have just surfaced.

Per 9to5Mac, sources with knowledge of the Apple Watch’s development have stated the specific performance targets Apple wants to achieve for the Apple Watch battery, but the actual numbers may fall short of those targets.

According to sources, Apple opted to use a relatively powerful processor and high-quality screen for the Apple Watch, both of which contribute to significant power drain. Running a stripped-down version of iOS codenamed SkiHill, the Apple S1 chip inside the Apple Watch is surprisingly close in performance to the version of Apple’s A5 processor found inside the current-generation iPod touch, while the Retina-class color display is capable of updating at a fluid 60 frames per second.

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Apple panics GoPro stock price with recently-released wearable camera patent

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 15:06
Category: Hardware, News, Patents, Wearables

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Wearable camera maker GoPro’s stocks took a 12 percent dive yesterday as a result of Apple expressing an interest in its market.

Per Macworld and PatentlyApple, an Apple patent application for a wearable camera was approved, the end result sending GoPro’s stock price tumbling. The application itself details a GoPro-like wearable perfect for action shots and underwater recording. Apple even takes aim at GoPro in the patent filing.

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Details surface about Apple Watch companion app, features

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 10:27
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

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It never hurts to have a companion.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple is currently developing an application called the Apple Watch “Companion” app for iPhone. This application manages settings for Apple Watch applications, as well as settings for iPhone/Watch interactivity. The Companion app’s settings reveal some novel new functions that are coming to the Apple Watch.

Users will be able to manage and organize applications on the Apple Watch Home Screen via a virtual view on the iPhone Companion application.

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Apple releases iOS 8.2 beta 4 SDK, reveals Apple Watch Bluetooth pairing details

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Date: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 14:27
Category: iOS, News, Software, Wearables

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It’s the beta seeds that show the cool stuff coming down the pipe.

Per Bidness Etc, Apple has begun seeding iOS 8.2 beta 4 to developers, revealing new details about the upcoming Apple Watch. The new iOS 8.2 beta 4 build, numbered 12D5461b, includes WatchKit support. In addition to this, website traffic data from multiple sources, have also suggested that Apple is looking to expand its iOS beta testing program to include a wider pool of users; this move reflect’s the company’s aim to improve the quality of feedback and to have the iOS 8 system running smoothly with some of the company’s new ambitious products such as Apple Pay or the Apple Watch.

There have been reports of some Apple employees already testing out iOS 8.3 and iOS 9.

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Rumor: Apple Watch steel model to begin at $500, gold model to retail between $4,000 and $5,000

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 10:00
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

Apple is far from releasing its price points for its upcoming watch, but the rumors as to the cost are starting to pour in.

Per 9to5Mac, French website iGen.fr, reported on Tuesday that the steel Apple Watch will start at US$500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between US$4,000 and US$5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at US$349, but did not disclose further pricing information.

The report claims that the stainless steel Apple Watch in polished steel or black will cost US$500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition will be the more expensive version at between US$4,000 and US$5,000. That price range would be nearly half the estimated US$10,000 price that some other reports have suggested.

In terms of a launch date, the report claims that the Apple Watch will launch in time for Valentine’s Day, but that was the most specific date given. An internal memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was recently published in which she wrote that the Apple Watch will launch in the “Spring” following the Chinese New Year.

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