Apple registers iWatch trademark in Japan, likely just a defensive move

Daniel Bader

July 1, 2013 11:26am


Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Apple has registered the iWatch trademark in Japan, likely as a defensive move to prevent other companies from doing the same. The rumoured iWatch has long been rumoured from the Cupertino-based company as it suffers from the perception that its “innovation train” has slowed. Also expected is a television dubbed iTV, but that may still be years away.

Wearable computing has taken off in the past year, with hardware startups like Pebble and Metawatch bursting onto the scene with thousands of orders and millions of dollars in revenue. Bigger names like Samsung have already confirmed they are working on a smartwatch while Google and Apple are rumoured to be doing the same.

Software changes to iOS 7 are more friendly to developers of third-party hardware, giving devices like Pebble increased access to the notification river that is so essential to a great smartwatch experience. Similarly, developers have seen similar openings in early leaks of Android 4.3, Google’s unreleased OS update. Hardware and app developers will be able to access and manipulate notifications with more granular control than before.

Whether Apple follows through with its iWatch product this year depends on how successful it is at finding a balance between the company’s hardware design prowess and emerging software acumen. It’s likely that the watch will rely on a constant Bluetooth connection from an iPhone or iPod touch, but will still be nominally functional on its own. It’s very unlikely that the iWatch will have its own WiFi or cellular connectivity, so as to save battery.

Sony just announced a sequel to its mediocre Smartwatch product, and will likely release it just before Apple’s planned October announcement. Bloomberg also reports that Apple has over 100 engineers working full-time on the iWatch.

Via: Bloomberg
Image Credit: i’m watch

  • Shaggyskunk

    They already have the Trademark for iLitigate.

    • kroms

      LMAO….. that was a good one.

  • EvanKrosney

    Personally, as long as we’re talking wearable technology, I’d rather go with Glass than a watch.

    • alphs22

      I would agree that the Glass is much more awesome. However it is more acceptable socially to wear a smartwatch rather than Glass.

      There’s a reason Google is also developing a smart watch. They know the success of Glass is entirely dependent on how the public will react to it.

      No one wants to know they’re being recorded without them knowing. Sure a light on Glass is supposed to blink while recording, but it doesn’t take that much effort to remove that.

  • georgy

    Just like a tablet, a smartwatch will never be a part of my electronics line-up, since I do not see the use for neither of them.

    Toss GoogleGlass in there as well.

    Am I getting “old” at 25?

    • Tom

      No, I’m 22 and I feel the same way. You just aren’t hopping on bandwagons, that’s all. Or rather, you don’t feel the need to be “updated” every so often.

      I already have an ultrabook with excellent battery life and a smartphone, so I also didn’t see the need for a tablet that runs an ARM OS (though a tablet PC with a digitizer pen would be great for me if the price wasn’t so high). I do recognize that people like a somewhat bigger screen to watch videos and read the news/social media, without having to wait 15 seconds for the device to wake up from sleep mode (the “problem” with x86 OSes).

      As for the smart watch, I too feel that it’s not very useful – the watch is something I don’t want to charge every day. I’d rather pay a few hundred for a “dumbwatch” than $99 for a smartwatch (the one I do have cost me $25). At least the dumbwatch battery lasts 5+ years and the dumbwatch can survive being soaked.

      But if people like the concept, then congratulations to the inventors for contributing to the economy.

      Little rant here: I find it rather annoying how these days people always rely on their phones for the time (and often get distracted fumbling in their pockets or bags to get it out). In my university, some students b***h and moan about how the phone ban during exams means they can’t keep track of time, when they could have simply brought a wristwatch. It’s one way “smart” devices have made people dumber.

  • WhoCares1000

    Defensive Apple is the norm of late, they are no longer leading in my books.

    Like most areas, Apple waits for others to pave a path. Once that path is started they take the multiple products and merge them in to their own. iPod , iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini , now the iWatch. There is Pebble, Sony Watch 2, etc. already out.

    Prediction, just like the first iPhone looked like an 1st Gen iPod touch, the iWatch will look like the iPod Nano 6th Gen.


    One year from now:

    Your honour, as you can clearly see, the Samsung watch is a copy of the iWatch. Samsung was not authorized to copy Apple’s 60 minutes to an hour, and 24 hours to a day formula. We ask for the court for one hundred billion dollars in damages.

  • Aiden

    Even IF Apple decided to make a smart-watch this wouldn’t be anything new to the world. There are already quite a few good smart-watches out there that connect through Bluetooth to any phone.

  • Carl Hall

    iTV is already a trademark in the UK for a TV station, unsure if Apple would be able to register it, although it might go similar to the way BBM Canada and RIM over the BBM trademark