Apple Inc. ‘Aggressively’ Hiring for iWatch Project

Apple is on a hiring spree to solve iWatch design issues, according to people familiar with Apple’s plans.

Sources told FT that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has begun hiring “aggressively” for the iWatch project in recent weeks. Photo: faara786/Flickr

Rumors about a so-called iWatch wearable smart device from Apple appear to be solidifying. Earlier this month, speculation heated up after numerous trademark applications for the term were discovered, and in a report issued on Sunday night, the Financial Times said that Apple had gone on a hiring spree to overcome the device’s challenges.

According to unnamed people “familiar with Apple’s plans,” the company has allegedly started “aggressively” hiring new employees for the “iWatch” project over the past few weeks.

Employees from Apple’s marketing, software, and hardware units who had worked on the iPhone and iPad are reportedly part of a team that numbered more than 100 as of earlier this year.

Rumors of an Apple smart watch have been circulating for some time now, with the company reportedly putting over 100 designers to work on the project.

However, the exact makeup of the kinds of employees that Apple’s looking for is unknown, it’s been said – by one of the unnamed sources – that Apple has apparently encountered some engineering problems that it hasn’t been able to overcome on its own.

It’s unclear if Apple is targeting employees from rival Google – which is on the cusp of releasing a consumer-ready version of its Google Glass smartglasses and has already released test versions to some – or startups such as Pebble.

These sources also say the so-called iWatch is expected for release in late 2014, which lines up with recent estimates from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in May said the unit will likely be rolled out in the second half of next year.

There has been no shortage of iWatch rumblings as of late, including Apple’s worldwide trademark tour, which saw the company file for protection of the “iWatch” moniker in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Taiwan. Earlier in July, Apple hired former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on “special projects,” a position some believe is related to wearable computing projects like the iWatch.

The New York Times’ Nick Bilton reported in February of this year that Apple was allegedly looking into “wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.” The device would (obviously) use iOS as its software base and, as you might expect, Apple refused to comment on any part of the Times’ speculation.

During an interview at the D11 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he finds wearable computing “profoundly interesting,” but that “you have to convince people it’s so incredible you want to wear it.” Cook pointed out that most young people don’t wear watches, so it would be the company’s job to make them appealing, reminds CNet.

Rumors of an iWatch have been rampant for months. Other rumors have pointed to Microsoft and even Google creating their own smartwatches.

Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of cell phones – not just smartphones – is developing a smartwatch, the company confirmed in March. This differs from Apple, Microsoft, or Google, none of which have stated they are actively developing that sort of product, reports Examiner.

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