Apple has been pushing heath and fitness heavily with their most recent campaign for the iPhone. This can be most noticeable in their recent ad campaign featuring Apple’s iPhone and a series of fitness applications and accessories, which include a multitude of wearables. Their campaign states, “You’re more powerful than you think.”
So, what is Apple getting at here, exactly? That the iPhone, and Apple, can be at the very core of your physical and health success. Surely, there are plenty of people that are already using many of these devices on both their Android and iOS devices, so that doesn’t necessarily set Apple apart from the rest. What will set Apple apart from the rest is how they will very likely incorporate a lot of these different wearables’ functionality into a single device.
According to some of our sources, Apple is looking to make the iWatch a very health-centric device rather than one that is about accomplishing tasks and being an extended digital assistant (See: Google Now + Android Wear). However, there are concerns that Apple’s focus on health with the iWatch may actually hurt them and could have sent the company back to the drawing board in order to increase the overall daily ‘usefullness’ of the device outside of health applications. But even so, Apple is rumored to be purchasing certain types of sensors that will be able to measure your heart rate and sweat in addition to movement data. They’re also becoming ever more serious about how they test these sensors and the functionality of their platform as they’ve been rumored to be spending millions on medical equipment from various manufacturers. The idea that Apple is buying medical equipment should be a pretty ridiculous one, but once you think about how serious Apple is about launching their first new product line in over 4 years, you’ll realize that they don’t want to make any mistakes.
So, there’s no doubt that Apple’s iWatch is going to have a health focus. The real question will be whether or not the iWatch will be almost entirely health focused, or if they will try to build in Siri integration and make the iWatch both functional and health conscious. Because, right now, Google and Microsoft don’t really have much by ways of health applications of their own, let alone hardware. So if Apple can build an iWatch that is health focused, they may already have a significant leg up on Google and Microsoft. Now, if you add heavy Siri integration and other helpful features there’s a good chance that Apple could once again set the standard for a new type of technology, but this time in wearables.
As of right now, I don’t think anyone has any concrete idea of when Apple will launch the iWatch, but from what it looks like it is still majorly in development and we probably won’t see it until next year. Obviously, if they launch sooner, it will put a greater burden on their competitors, but as of right now most of the smart watches from their competitors either haven’t launched yet or lack a native health functionality. Samsung and Qualcomm certainly have the lead in terms of health focus with their smartwatches, but it remains to be seen how far they’ll go and how they’ll compete against an Apple iWatch.