TOKYO, July 1 Apple Inc has applied for
a trademark for "iWatch" in Japan, a patent official said on
Monday, signalling the iPhone maker may be moving ahead with
plans for a watch-like device as gadget makers turn their
attention to wearable computers.
The trademark application, submitted on June 3 and released
on the Japan Patent Office website on June 27, would cover
computers, computer peripherals and wristwatches, the official
said. He said it was unknown how long the application process
An Apple spokesman in Japan could not immediately be reached
Speculation has mounted that Apple is preparing to launch an
iWatch and CEO Tim Cook told a gathering of tech and media
executives a month ago that wearable products were ripe for
exploration, but added he was sceptical, including about Google
Inc's recently unveiled Glass which combines a mobile
computer and eyeglasses.
"There's nothing that's going to convince a kid who has
never worn glasses or a band or a watch to wear one, or at least
I haven't seen it," Cook said.
Wearable devices are considered a potential area for hit
products as smartphones such as the iPhone and Samsung
Electronics Co's Galaxy series are losing their
ability to impress consumers and investors.
Samsung, which has leapfrogged Apple as the world's leading
smartphone maker, is also developing a wearable device similar
to a wristwatch, a source with knowledge of the matter has said.
The New York Times reported in February that Apple was
experimenting with the design of a device similar to a
wristwatch that would operate on the same iOS platform as its
iPhone and iPad and would be made with curved glass.