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Apple's iWatch: iFiction?

The Apple store on 5th Avenue

The Apple store on 5th Avenue Credit: The Apple store on 5th Avenue (Getty Images)

After being in the financial media business for nine years, there’s one thing I’ve learned: Folks love them some Apple iFiction, whether in the form of garden-variety speculation or outright rumors. And 99% can be counted on to be 100% false.

Case in point: Last week consumers turned their attention to Apple’s rumored iWatch, which would be Apple’s twist on the wristwatch.

The source of the rumor is an Apple patent filing for a “wearable accessory device” featuring a flexible display attached to a bistable spring, implying something akin to a slap bracelet.

Should we be excited about this? I’m going to say no. Apple is no stranger to filing interesting-sounding patents, many of which don’t seem relevant in the near future. For example, Apple has a patent for gloves that allow users to use touch-screen devices in the cold. Yet, we aren’t talking about iGloves.

Apple also has a patent for a shapeshifting 3-D device user interface that would allow a touchscreen to change shapes and allow you to, among other things, have your iPad screen morph into a keyboard. Additionally, it’s not easy to predict Apple’s product moves. In 2011, many Wall Street analysts and journalists expected Apple to ship a television set in 2012, and as of now, it’s nowhere in sight, even though Steve Jobs was very, very enthusiastic about such a product, as reported by his biographer Walter Isaacson.

So why is the media focused on iWatch?

Simple. The patent filing gives some grounding in reality, yet like iGloves and iShapeshifter, it’s off-the-wall enough to get people interested and talking.

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