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The Best Clue Yet That An 'iWatch' Is Coming This Year

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Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures while speaking at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 2, 2014. Apple's Mac operating system is getting a new design and better ways to exchange files, while new features in the software for iPhones and iPads include one for keeping tabs on your health. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

It's becoming more and more clear that after an incredible amount of anticipation (to which articles like this contribute), Apple's long-rumored "iWatch" could actually be released in time for Christmas this year.

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a sprawling Sunday edition profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who took the helm of Apple three years ago after the death of founder Steve Jobs. We'd recommend reading the entire article, but those interested in the supposed "iWatch" will be particularly excited about this paragraph, in which the newspaper confirms with "people involved in the project" that a computerized wristwatch will be announced by the end of 2014:

Mr. Cook appears to be interested in the smartwatch’s broader implications — for instance, that a watch might monitor heart rate and other vital measures, thus improving health and limiting doctor visits, according to these people. The watch is expected to be released in the fourth quarter, these people said. [Emphasis added.]

If that's the case, we can all look out for the iWatch to be the hot holiday gift item this year. However, the report should be taken with a caveat. At any point, Apple can push back the release date of a product it's developing -- or even cancel a release altogether.

That said, Apple's apparent strategy so far this year has been to roll out the carpet for a computer on your wrist. During its annual developers conference two weeks ago, Apple trumpeted a new operating system for iPhones and iPads that will include a program called HealthKit, which brings together data from heart rate, blood pressure and other health monitors in one place.

And it would be strange for a company like Apple, which believes hardware and software need to be inexorably meshed, to say it's making software that tracks heart beats and cholesterol levels without making its own accompanying device to record that data. Unless, of course, one is coming very soon.

Read the rest of the Times profile on Cook here.

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