As we reported earlier today, Apple has filed for a patent some three years ago for an ‘electronic wristband’ it called the iTime.
Plenty of websites (us included) have of course posted stories about the patent and included all sorts of illustrations filed in the original patent. Many sites jumped to what would seem an obvious conclusion, namely that "this proves that Apple has plans to come out with some sort of smartwatch".
Okay, I guess, but the patent was filed three years ago and the patent office has just gotten around to granting Apple the rights to a “Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefore” and an “invention [that] pertains to an electronic wristwatch”.
InformationWeek stated: “The patent describes the possibility - Apple hasn't confirmed any such device - of an electronic wristband that can accommodate and connect to a removable hardware module.”
So does this new patent substantiate the rumours that Apple really will ship an iTime (or iWatch or iWristband or iWhatever) device any time in the near future? Probably not, but they probably will.
Recent hirings of high-couture European watch making executives and more than a passing nod to smart homes and wearable fitness devices at its last developer conference also tend to indicate that Apple has something in the works.
Will whatever they come out with be based on this particular patent? Again, probably not. Technology has progressed significantly in the past three years and Apple has had the chance to study what’s been happening in the smartwatch space to see what’s worked and what hasn’t.
We shall find out before too long, at any rate, as if the rumour mongers are right, the device will enter mass production at the end of the year.