Following up on the HealthKit announcement, “industry sources” are saying that Apple is working on a health wearable that will be released next October.
The story, from Nikkei Asian Review, says the new watch-like wearable will run on iOS 8, and will be equipped with a centralized function to manage users’ biometric information via smartphones.
Nikkei’s source says the specs for the new product are still being finalized. It will likely use a curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touchscreen and will collect health-related data, such as calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood glucose and blood oxygen levels. It will also allow users to read messages sent by smartphones, the story says.
How will this fit into the already maturing wearable market? Samsung has already launched their wearable and FitBit and Jawbone have already secured 87% of the wearable market (FitBit = 68%). The size of the market in 2013 was estimated at $330 million. Industry resources said that given how new the digital fitness tracker market is, they fully expect it to double in size this year, which means there is still room for companies to carve out a niche.
Nikkei’s industry source, a parts supplier, says Apple plans to make about 3-5 million of the new devices, a number that exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year.
Apple is working on the new device with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, the report says.