Signs point to Apple iWatch debuting with the iPhone 6 in September

New speculation has triggered more discussions about a potential wearable device to be released by Apple next month. 

By , Staff writer

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    This diagram from Apple's newly awarded patent shows a theoretical iTime smart watch.
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The tech world has been consumed this summer with speculation over the hotly-anticipated iPhone 6, which many expect to be released by Apple next month. 

But an article Wednesday on the technology news site Re/Code says Apple will make its foray into the wearables market alongside the iPhone 6 release on Sept. 9. Apple has neither confirmed that there will even be an event nor that it will be releasing any new devices.

However, earlier this year Apple chief executive Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal that the company will be expanding into "new categories" this year.

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"We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff," Mr. Cook said at the time.  

Aside from stating that Apple "plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhones" in September, Re/Code's John Paczkowski offers no evidence nor sources for his claim, so it's important to take his assertion with a grain of salt. 

As others have noted, any wearable device Apple unveils could well be tied in with HealthKit and HomeKit, Apple's offerings in the fields of mobile health aggregation and the connected-home market, both of which were featured earlier this summer at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference. 

Earlier this month, Re/Code reported that Apple will be holding a media event on Sept. 9 in which it will release the iPhone 6, which will reportedly come in two versions – one with a 4.7-inch screen and the other with a larger 5.5-inch "phablet" screen. That followed a July report from 9to5Mac that said Apple was "tentatively" planning a mid-September event to release the iPhone 6, citing "sources briefed on the plans." 

Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones in its June quarter, which amounts to roughly 12 percent year-over-year growth. In a press release for the Cupertino company's June financial results, Mr. Cook expressed excitement about the upcoming release of iOS 8 and Yosemite, Apple's new mobile and desktop operating systems, in addition to "other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce." 

In July, a video from the technology YouTube channel MKBHD showed what it purported to be an actual iPhone 6 screen. Made with sapphire crystal as opposed to the more traditional Corning Gorilla Glass, the video alleged that the screen is extremely durable, high quality, and permits almost no distortion or color shift when looking through it.

However, a July report from Apple Insider, citing KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, alleged that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 was facing product delays and would not become available until 2015, leaving the 4.7-inch version to debut on its own in the fall. 

As for what's known about a wearable device – dubbed the "iWatch" by the media – The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Apple has plans to release "multiple versions" of a smart watch, citing "people familiar with the matter." And Apple has expectations to ship as many as 50 million units of the wearable device within the first year of its release, Reuters reported in June. 

Further, last month the US Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent for an "electronic wristwatch" that can interact with a smart phone. 

In releasing a wearable device, Apple would be relatively late to the game. An iWatch would join such products as the Pebble smart watch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the Sony SmartWatch, and Fitbit's line of devices. 

Wearable devices will more than triple in number this year, reaching 19.2 million units in 2014, according to market research firm IDC. 

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