Apple eyeing smart watch, media reports say

AFP-JIJI

Apple is testing a watch-like device that could perform some smartphone functions, U.S. media reports said Monday.

The New York Times reported that the maker of iPhones and iPads is experimenting with a curved-glass device, which could incorporate a bendable display glass developed by Corning.

The Times, which quoted sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the device would likely use Apple’s iOS platform which is incorporated on the iPhone and iPad.

The report also said the watch could be used for mobile payments using Apple’s Passbook software.

The Wall Street Journal said, meanwhile, that Apple has discussed such a device with its manufacturing partner Foxconn of Taiwan as it explores product categories beyond the smartphone and tablet.

The device, if confirmed, would be part of an emerging category of wearable devices that can connect to networks, usually through a smartphone.

Several smart watches using the Google Android platform were shown at the Consumer Electronic Show earlier this year. (See this week’s tech_japan column for one example.)