As the tech world has been reporting throughout 2014, with each passing week we hear new chatter about the supposed features that will be available on Apple’s forthcoming smartwatch unofficially dubbed the “iWatch” by tech bloggers. And according to a report Tuesday morning from Reuters, production of the screens used for both the iWatch and the iPhone 6 could begin as soon as early May.
With Apple hiring a slate of experts in the field of mobile medical sensors in recent months, it’s impossible to discount the strong suggestion that the iWatch will deliver a number of mHealth capabilities.
The iWatch, which is expected to use optoelectronics to monitor both blood oxygen levels and heart rate, may reach consumers before the end of this year if all goes as planned inside of the Apple supply and manufacturing channels.
According to Mike Randazzo, a tech news reporter and industry analyst, the real challenge for Apple involves raising the bar in this product category – a bar elevated earlier this year by Samsung when it unveiled the Galaxy GEAR 2 smartwatch, the first that can actually track as well as treat health related issues facing millions of people.
From TechCrunch to CNET, every major tech news outlet has afforded ample coverage to GEAR 2, which launches with a number of groundbreaking apps, including – and perhaps most notably – Sleep Genius.
Already available on iOS and Android, Sleep Genius comes to GEAR 2 regarded by many as the world’s most scientifically advanced sleep program developed by top researchers in the fields of neuroscience, sleep, and music. Its proprietary sleep technologies will be integrated into Samsung’s next-generation smartwatch, set for release later this month.
All told, Randazzo tells mHealthWatch, it’s a lesson for Apple to learn from… and, hopefully, fast.
“Samsung is really challenging the wearables market to do more for the sake of consumers who need more help in a number of ways pertinent to their health and quality of life,” the analyst explains. “And so that becomes the challenge for Apple. If they fail to innovate or match Samsung’s effort to do more with wearables, they’ll fall dramatically short of expectations.”
Randazzo believes the solution for Apple lies in forging and expanding partnerships with both hardware makers and software developers that can bring cutting edge resources to the iWatch.
“If Apple doesn’t challenge GEAR 2 in a meaningful way,” Randazzo concludes, “Apple won’t challenge the industry itself. And, historically speaking, when Apple doesn’t challenge the industry, it doesn’t perform very well.”