Apple rumor watch: iOS timepiece on drawing board?

Never mind the Nano doing double duty. New scuttlebutt out of China suggests that Apple is teaming up with Intel to fashion a bona fide iOS-based watch.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Is Apple eyeing an iWatch?
Is Apple eyeing an iWatch? Sarah Tew and Christopher MacManus/CNET

After creating the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, is Apple now working on an iWatch?

A report cited by Business Insider claims that Apple has partnered with Intel to develop an iOS watch. Supply chain sources reportedly told Chinese blog site Tech163.com that the watch would be Bluetooth-enabled and sport a 1.5-inch OLED screen.

The so-called smart watch would debut sometime in the first half of next year.

Other sources have chimed in on the general concept, with Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, for one, saying he thinks wearable computing is a line that Apple might eventually get into. And as noted by The Next Web, the Kickstarter campaign by Pebble raised more than $10 million from people convinced of the demand for a smart watch running iOS or Android.

Based on just the one report from Tech163.com, this bit of "news" is decidedly in the rumor stage. So I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the iWatch just yet. Still, a smart watch represents another area where Apple could see heavy interest and demand.

Earlier this year, Crave readers shared with CNET their dream Apple products. The winner described his as a souped-up iPod Nano watch with futuristic features like wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or NFC) and support for Siri and FaceTime.

And it's not exactly unfamiliar territory for Apple.

With their small and square design, previous versions of the iPod Nano have done double-duty as watches. Different manufacturers sell watchbands that you can attach to the Nano to wear it on your wrist.

Aside from displaying the time, the Nano can play music, display photos, and keep track of your fitness history. I have a Nano with a watchband and often wear it when I go jogging or walking.

Apple bumped up the size of the 2012 Nano. so it can no longer serve as a watch. So perhaps the company could have a true smart watch in its sights as the next technology frontier to conquer.