Apple has yet to confirm that it is working on an iWatch — a portable, wrist-based mobile device that might function like an iPod-cum-wristwatch-cum-iPhone.
But it has filed trademark applications for the name “iWatch.” And, even more tantalising for Apple-watchers, it has also filed a number of diagrams with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that seem to show iWatch-style devices.
Companies file patents all the time, just to get legal ownership of the technology even if they don’t want to develop it. They sometimes file patents to prevent competitors from developing similar products.
And patent applications are couched in legal-ese and misleading information — so we can’t say for sure that these are Apple’s first sketches of the iWatch.
The following gallery is, we believe, all the diagrams Apple has filed with the USPTO so far that describe iWatch-like devices.
Here's the best-known of the existing iWatch patent diagrams — an actual wristband on a human hand (for scale) and the suggestion that it might be hooked up to a curved iPhone.
This patent for an 'armband' that holds an electronic device was filed on July 2, 2013. The filing gives no indication of size — so it could be simply an iPhone holder.
The application makes explicit reference to the fact that mobile devices are getting smaller and therefore more difficult to strap to one's body when exercising.
On the same day, Apple filed this patent for an 'ornamental design for an electronic device.' It looks like it might be a watch, but ...
Other diagrams in the filing suggest it might simply be a smaller version of one of its existing hard drive devices. (Note the ports and holes in one side.)
Here's a drawing of what appears to be a square watch face patent. CNET reported the patent was filed for gestures that can control a small device without the need to look at the screen. An iWatch would, presumably, incorporate the functionality of an iPod Shuffle, which is already close to watch-size.
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