The Apple iWatch was a rumored smartwatch project that eventually launched in 2014 as the Apple Watch. Following the trends of wearable computing tech, Apple s smartwatch product was anticipated to outshine competitors of the time like Samsung s Galaxy Gear, Sony s Smartwatch 2, and the Kickstarter-funded Pebble.
iWatch vs. Apple Watch
Reports of Apple s decision to pursue wearable technology surfaced in late 2011, when consumers were latching iPod Nanos to watch bands and Apple saw an opportunity to capitalize. The reason behind the name change is unclear, but it did mark a shift in Apple s device naming convention. Aside from MacBook laptops and Apple TV, the consumer products in Apple s range at the time were given an i name: iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iMac. Products launched since the Apple Watch were also released without the i monniker, including the HomePod, AirPods, and Apple Pencil. Reported trademark issues with the name iWatch may have forced Apple to go down a different naming path, but Apple never confirmed nor denied that speculation.
iWatch rumors and predictions
Theories about how the iWatch might look and what it might be able to do spanned a range of credibility. Some tech tabloids correctly guessed it would have functions for monitoring steps, heart rate, and sleeping patterns much like a fitness tracker, while less reliable sources anticipated there would be gendered versions for men and women, or that it would look more like a cuff with a large display than an actual watch. Based on leaks and historical trends, most rumors accurately predicted the watch to expand the user experience of the iPhone, with capabilities for answering calls, sending text messages, and navigating maps.
The reveal of iWatch as Apple Watch was preceded by other major announcements during Apple s annual fall event in 2014. Along with expected iOS updates, Apple CEO Tim Cook also unveiled Apple Pay (an NFC-based payment platform) and a larger plus size iPhone 6. This was also the infamous announcement event that led to an automatic download of a new U2 album to all iTunes accounts, much to users widespread dismay.