Last time we heard rumors of an Apple-made computer-watch in December, they were from Chinese gadget blogs supposedly close to the company's supply chain -- and frankly, we were dubious that Apple was in fact thinking of making an "iWatch."
Now with The New York Times reporting that Apple is tinkering with such a smartwatch in its Cupertino headquarters, those rumors have more credence.
On Sunday, the paper's Nick Bilton reported that Apple is "experimenting" with wearable computer for the wrist, made with curved glass.
The Wall Street Journal also reported on a "watch-like device," citing "people briefed on the effort."
Chatter that Apple ought to finally forge its way into the untested smartwatch market have been percolating lately. Just this week, Bruce Tognazzini, a former Apple employee, blogged that an "iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem." In January, TechCrunch's M.G. Seigler made that case that Apple's Siri voice-command technology would work best on a wristwatch. And in September, The Verge's Nilay Patel argued that Apple ought to have reimagined the iPod Nano into a wristwatch.
Though "smartwatches" don't yet have the thriving market that tablets and smartphones do, consumers have signaled their interest in buying them (while startups have signaled their interest in making them). After setting a fundraising goal of $100,000, popular Pebble Technology raked in $10.3 million last year on Kickstarter to develop its own wristwatch. Even more potential players in the computerized watch business showed off their wares at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
Of course, Apple's "experimenting" with a smartwatch by no means means a prototype will see the light of day. Just ask iTV enthusiasts, who've heard hint after hint that Apple would make its very own television apart from its minimal Apple TV, with no product in sight yet.