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(Rumor) Apple branded smartwatch may be in the works

Design concept from earlier this year for an iSiri Smartwatch from Frederico Ciccarese

 

This wouldn't be the first time – remember Frederico Ciccarese's design concept for an iSiri smartwatch? – but rumors have been circulating about the possibility of an Apple-branded smartwatch in the coming months.

A report (via Chinese news portal 163.com) has been making the rounds on Mashable and 9to5Mac, among others, claiming that Apple and Intel are working together on a Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch that could be released as early as the first quarter of 2013.

Now, there are already quite a few smartwatches on the market, and good ones at that. This year, Sony released their SmartWatch, a hands-free device that syncs with your smartphone to keep you discreetly updated.

The rumored iWatch may work like Sony Mobile's SmartWatch, which syncs with your smartphone and keeps you discreetly updated

 

Then, there are watch-style cases from accessories makers like Lunatik and Griffin that turn devices you already own, like an iPod nano, into a wrist-wearable smart device.

So, how would an Apple-sanctioned smartwatch differ from any of these? According to the report's sources on the Chinese supply chain, the iWatch would share some elements of other smartwatches. like Sony's device, it would be Bluteooth-enabled and sync to your smartphone, as long as it's an iPhone that is.

It would also be fairly dainty, roughly the size of an iPod nano with an 1.5" OLED display. Such a device, argues 9to5Mac, "could make sense for a future, Bluetooth 4.0-enabled iPod nano. Though they also note that its unlikely would choose to partner with Intel on a such a "low-powered, mobile product."

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