Apple on hiring spree in search of iWatch design

Apple hopes that new blood can help the company find a fresh design for a smart watch, according to the Financial Times.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/ AP/ File
The Pebble watch is one of the first smart watches. Apple is rumored to be working on a design for its own smart watch.

Apple set off on a hiring spree in an effort to come up with a fresh design for an iWatch, according to a report by the Financial Times. This “aggressive” hiring campaign is seen as a way for the company to get back to what it was originally known for: innovative, consumer-friendly product design. Apple has not released a new product since Steve Jobs’ death nearly two years ago. 

While Apple has not publicly confirmed or denied any plans for an iWatch, if the rumors are true, an iWatch has already been long in the making. And certainly a timeline of events would point to a well-designed wristwatch with high-tech capabilities.

Earlier this month, Apple announced that Paul Deneve, the former chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent, would be joining the company to work on special projects for Apple CEO Tim Cook. Other fashion executives within Apple’s ranks include Mickey Drexler, the chairman and CEO of J. Crew, according to Bloomberg.

Around the same time, Apple registered a trademark for the term “iWatch” in Japan, and has also filed for the trademark in Russia.

In March, Apple filed for a patent relating to curved screens and batteries, hinting that the company had a wearable product in the works. And a month before, Apple was said to have a team of about 100 product designers working on a “wristwatch-like device” with computer functions, according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, Apple-watchers anticipated the release of an iWatch in late 2014. Now, however, it seems the release might be delayed as Apple searches for the perfect design to quell fears that its products are not "innovative" enough.

But delaying its release of an iWatch has not only allowed Apple to discuss designs within the company, it has also given the software giant an opportunity to size up possible competition.

Most notable among current smart-watch models is the Pebble. This watch was first released in January, funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. The rectangular watch is controlled by buttons on the side of the watch face and uses Bluetooth to forward information – including app data – from users’ smart phones. The Pebble is compatible with both Apple and Android products and is water resistant up to 165 feet.  

Sony announced that the company plans to release a second version of its own SmartWatch, to be available in September. Sony’s watch is Android-only.

A Google wristwatch is also said to be in the works. Microsoft has also been testing wristwatches, according to the Verge

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