Just because Apple started collecting trademarks for the iWatch name, doesn’t mean that the device is close to being unveiled. It also doesn’t mean that the device is even close to being finished. According to a published report on Sunday, Apple is aggressively trying to finish the project which hints at the importance of the device to the company.
According to the Financial Times, Apple has been on a “hiring spree” apparently unable to use its current lineup of engineers to move ahead with the design of the smartwatch. One source says that Apple has run into “hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve.” While Apple could decide to scrap the watch, which is something that it has done in the past with other products, the Cupertino based firm has a large number of engineers working on the device. This means that Apple has already invested a large amount of time and money on the project. One member of the iWatch team reportedly received a huge pay raise after telling Apple that he was leaving the company.
According to the paper, the timing of the hiring suggests that the watch won’t be ready until late in 2014. The question then is how close Apple’s rivals are to releasing their own smartwatch models. Companies like LG, Samsung, Microsoft and Google have all said that they are working on, or are interested in working on a smartwatch. Part of Apple’s success with the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad came from the company’s ability to launch its products with new capabilities and features before the competition, forcing Apple’s rivals to play catch-up. With the smartwatch though, it could be Apple that will be playing from behind.