by Anton Shilov
02/27/2013 | 10:40 PM
Apple is exploring new product categories with the aim to develop competitive solutions in both short-term and long-term future, according to the company’s chief executive officer. Quite naturally, Apple remains silent on what product categories it is looking and what market it may revolutionize next.
“Obviously we are looking at new categories, we do not talk about them, but we are looking at them,” said Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, during a Q&A session at the company’s annual investor meeting.
Apple is known for prototyping a lot of different products and ideas with the aim to create well-polished breakthrough products for the mass market. For example, the company has been creating various prototypes of iPad media tablet since 2001, almost a decade before the product materialized.
It is not a secret that Apple is working hard on its own TV-set. Considering that the product has been discussed by Steve Jobs himself before he passed away in October, 2011, it is likely that the iTV will be the first all-new product category that the company will release in the coming years.
Recently, rumours transpired that Apple wants to tap the market of wrist watches with an intelligent watch powered by iOS operating system that work with the iPhone and the iPad. Given that Apple iPod is nearing its end-of-life, the iWatch could be a gadget to address the customers no longer using personal digital media players.
In its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple has been experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to one report. The company has already discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner, Foxconn Electronics. The latter has been working on a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices, according to another report.
Even though the first rumours about the iWatch emerged quite some time before the iPad was launched or the iPhone gained numerous of its key technologies, it is still unclear what kind of feature-set Apple wants for its wearable gadget.
There are a number of technological challenges with making durable wearable devices. First of all, special bendable glass and touch-screens for displays need to be utilized. There are a number of achievements in this direction, including Corning Willow glass that can be wrapped around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist. Secondly, OLED displays will need to be used for such products. Thirdly, very small chips possibly on curved printed-circuit boards must be utilized for such wearable computing devices. Finally, new types of batteries should be used for this type of gadgets. In theory, many of ingredients for smart wrist watch are available today, but when one company combine them in a brand-new device is unclear.
Apple did not comment on the news-story.