(Wall Street Journal) – Apple Inc. is planning multiple versions of a smartwatch likely to be launched in the fall, people familiar with the matter said, as the company tries to counter wearable devices from Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and others.
The new wrist device from Apple will incorporate more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness, these people said. Apple aims to address an overarching criticism of existing smartwatches that they don’t provide functions significantly different from that of a smartphone, said a person familiar with the matter.
Apple showed its interest in health and fitness tracking last month with a new app called Health, designed to collect a user’s fitness and health data in one spot. Absent an Apple device to collect the data, the move fueled speculation that the company would unveil a sensor-laden wearable device at a later date.
Apple’s smartwatch could launch as early as October with production to begin within two to three months at Quanta Computer Inc., a Taiwanese manufacturer that has long been Apple’s supplier for Mac computers, said the people familiar with the matter. Quanta will begin some trial runs next month.