Wireless Charging, Flexible Display, and NFC Estimated for iWatch

September 8, 2014 •

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As estimated, the rush to Apple’s Tuesday September 9 media event is causing a flurry of rumors and confirmations to pepper the media. On Thursday, September 4 alone, there were three different reports to hit the spotlight, all “confirming” details of the mysterious iWatch. Unlike the iPhone 6, very little is still known about Apple’s wearable device. Even with the following details leaking, guessing iWatch specs is worse than throwing darts blindfolded. However, some well connected analysts think they have the secrets.

Often correct KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a confirmation the iWatch will be released alongside the iPhone 6, as other media outlets state, most notably Re/code. However, Kuo did not just stop with a date confirmation. Kuo includes, the iWatch should have a rectangular design with a shockingly high 8GB of storage and a 512MB processor. This would place iWatch well beyond just a simple iPhone 6 accessory. Additionally Kuo goes on to discuss up to four possible build materials, including the obvious aluminum preference and even a gold variant for the more fashionably conscious.

Tossing 8GB and a 512MB processor into a wearable device will give iWatch some hefty computing power in its category. There is the potential for a large amount of onboard storage, providing the ability to locally store applications and possibly music. These features would make iWatch a stand alone device, not necessarily relying on iPhone as the main brain, which was originally thought to be the case.

Following Kuo’s report, the well-connected and trusted Wall Street Journal indicated both iPhone 6 and iWatch will include Near Field Communications (NFC) chips. As shown in a recent logic board leak, the NXP NFC chip will be included in iPhone 6. Including the same or similar chip in iWatch makes paying even easier. A simple tap of the wrist could be the only action needed to complete a payment transaction. Additionally, including both an NFC chip in the iPhone and iWatch makes pairing the two devices much easier. Instead of waiting for Bluetooth to wake, discover, and pair, a quick tap of the NFC enabled devices will have them communicating in a fraction of the time.

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Continuing, the WSJ confirmed the iWatch should be released in two difference sizes, utilizing a curved OLED display. However, following the WSJ statement of a curved display, the New York Times added to the fodder, claiming iWatch will feature a flexible panel laden with protective sapphire crystal. NYT does agree with the WSJ when it comes to the inclusion of an NFC chip.

Shockingly, the NYT steps away from any previous speculation and claims iWatch will feature a wireless charging ability, after Apple gave up on solar as an option. There are existing forms of wireless charging on the market, like Qi, but the NYT chose to link their wireless comment to an exploratory conversation about wireless charging, rather than pegging a definitive solution. NYT goes on to confirm a 2015 launch date.

From the deluge of iWatch rumors, a few things seem to be consistent. Most notably, there are strong impressions two different size devices will be released. The difference will probably designate a men’s and women’s line, similar to the existing watch industry. A new type of screen will be used, whether that is a fixed, curved display or, more radically, a flexible display technology. Additionally, iWatch will be filled with different sensors from steps taken to blood glucose measurement abilities. Finally, and most unfortunately, it seems Apple is being very clear with controlled leaks–the device will not be available until 2015.