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Alongside a myriad of new Apple products, the enigmatic iWatch is set to make its debut in the third quarter of this year, and according to reports out of China, the production process for the wearable device has already commenced. At this stage, the Cupertino company is not said to be manufacturing the wrist-worn gadget in significant quantities, however the report in question does go on to note that the iWatch is still slated for a fall release.

For years, tech fans, commentators and analysts have speculated as to whether Apple will come through with a smartwatch, but with the Pebble having burst onto the scene last year closely trailed by the Samsung Gear and Sony Smartwatch, Tim Cook and his executive team will not want established rivals to build strong bases in this fledgling space.

Add to the aforementioned the fact that Google recently took the wraps off Android Wear – a move that prompted several companies (LG, Motorola) to announce their inaugural efforts – and you would think that unless Apple’s iWatch did manifest this year, the Mac maker would have quite a bit of catching up to do at a later date.

The China Times report in question also suggests the device will comprise a system-in-package (SiP) design, which would enable one module to include several different chips. From what we’ve been hearing, the iWatch will be packed to the gills with numerous sensors, and thanks to this specially-tailored design configuration, all of the gadgetry will be meticulously packed in a manageable, wearable unit.

iWatch 1

iWatch Concept

Nike, a close ally of Apple in tech. space, recently laid off most of the staff behind its FuelBand smartwatch, and since, there have been reports suggesting that the two companies will collaborate on a separate, fitness-related product for release this year. Given that rival Samsung already has its standard Gear tech watch and a separate Gear Fit for sportier folk, it may well be that Apple intends to follow along the same lines, and with the Healthbook suite touted as being one of the integral components of the forthcoming iOS 8 software update, it’s clear that the company wants to tap into this lucrative market.

Hopefully, given that production appears to be under way, we’ll have some decent leaks and sightings in the not-so-distant. Until then, what are you looking for from Apple’s iWatch?

Share your thoughts below in the comments.

(Source: ChinaTimes [Google Translate])

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