Essential reading: Apple Watch hands-on review
Rumours of new products are great fun, and none more so than when it comes to Apple. Speculation about the iWatch is rife, and keeping on top of the rumours is a full time job.
Essential reading: Apple iWatch: Specs, price and features
However, for every crumb of sensible news is a footlong sub of speculation, soothsaying, crystal ball gazing and predictions that border on the ludicrous.
So to paraphrase the first-Century Roman poet Juvenal, who watches the iWatch watches? Well…. that sounds like a job for us.
Apple is doomed!
Before the iWatch has even been announced, some of the watchers have already decided it represents the end of the Cupertino company itself.
PC Mag’s John C. Dvorak says the iTime (the name of the iWatch in early patent applications) “is destined to fail” – even before it has existed.
“If it can’t replace the iPhone completely it’s a goner,” he says, going for extra troll points by suggesting that a flip-opening Dick Tracy-style watch is the way to go. We respectfully disagree.
However, Trip Chowdry of Global Equities Research makes Dvorak look optimistic. “[Apple] has only 60 days left to either come up with something or it will disappear,” he said, roughly 180 days ago.
We’ve just checked, and Apple’s still there.
The iWatch of wonder
Just to point out the rampant misinformation at play,Mac360’s Bambi Brannan says the iWatch won’t be released until “2016 at the earliest”. But wait! That was a clever hoax to highlight what Brannan calls the “toxic hell stew of what appear to be facts” swirling around Apple product news.
Assuming Apple can stay in business long enough to make it, what will the iWatch actually do? Well, if you believe the "toxic hell stew", it will not only notify you of calls and emails, but also represent the biggest medical advancement since penicillin.
It’ll predict heart attacks by listening to your blood flow and non-invasively monitor your glucose levels, except for when it doesn’t because neither of those technologies is ready for human consumption yet.
So what will the iWatch look like? Well, according a flurry of reports, the iWatch will come in two versions or three versions or one version, or lots of different versions; and it will have a flexible AMOLED display behind sapphire glass, unless it doesn’t.
Watches are as much about fashion as function, so the iWatch needs to look good. The fact that nobody knows what it’ll look like hasn’t stopped the speculation, with concept images popping up from every angle to whet the public's appetite.
They range from the good, (MacUser) the gorgeous (Gábor Balogh), and the entirely possible (Todd Hamilton). Then there's the unlikely (MacUser again), the exceptionally unlikely (Ciccarese Design) and the not trying very hard.
Of all the mockups, our favourite is by Dave Heinzel. His iWatch mockup expertly skewers the fanboy fantasies of so many iWatch mockups by adding as many features as he can think of, including a “Thunderbolt Passthru with curiously long label pointer”, an SCSI interface, two slide-out QWERTY keyboards, SD video and monaural audio output, a full size USB port “for mouse and fax machine only”, a stylus, a stubby antenna and “fun buttons”.
Part of us really hopes his predictions come true.
What's actually happening?
For a round-up of the more credible news, including who Apple's been hiring from the watch industry and its growing list of patent applications, check out our guide to the iWatch.