The latest rumor comes via Bloomberg and shares a couple of interesting details. Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano report that Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a ‘wristwatch-like’ device that could share functions of iOS devices. It lists managers, members of the marketing group and engineers that worked on the iPhone and iPad.
In what is out of character for an anonymously sourced report like this one, two distinct Apple employees are named. James Foster, a senior director of engineering who formerly worked at XMOS Semiconductor and Oxford Semiconductor, and another ‘manager’ named Achim Pantfoerder are said to be on the team.
Pantfoerder is credited for several patents, including a joint one with Apple’s Tony Fadell for integrated proximity and light sensors that ended up in the iPod touch, iPad and iPhone devices, one related to Apple’s stereo headset jacks and more.
The cascading nature of the rumors here are interesting. A report in one of the major publications known to have…reliable…Apple sources like the NYT is typically followed by others. Having the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg’s Apple reporters also chime in on the rumor adds some weight to it, if not any in-depth information.
Obviously, Apple produces prototypes and works on device concepts on a continuous, rotating basis. For more on that you can read about its product development process here. But if there is indeed a 100 person team already working on it, this has moved beyond the dabbling phase and into something more aggressive.
You can read the full report here.