Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he expects Apple Inc. (AAPL) to enter the wearable computer market with a watch that would be an iPhone companion. He also discussed his views on wearable computing devices and expectations for Apple products this year.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be entering into the wearable computer market starting with a watch that would work as a companion to the iPhone. There have been rumblings of this over the past few days, and this morning in a report to investors, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said he expects that wearable computers could end up replacing smartphones.
Munster said he expects that within the next decade or so, technology will have progressed to a point where both tablets and wearable computers are being used. Watches or glasses could enable voice calls, texting and mobile internet usage to be done by voice control. Eventually we could even see screens in glasses or projectors replace the need for a screen.
According to Munster, such devices could be less expensive than an iPhone and could be the best way for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to address developing markets. Of course at this point the launch of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s smart watch is unknown, although it’s unlikely that it will be before 2014.
He also believes that Apple’s MFi program may make it possible for the company to receive a benefit from wearable devices made by other companies, like shoes, belts, earrings, clothing, etc. These devices could supply various pieces of information that are important to the wearer, like his or her body temperature, the number of calories he or she has burned or their blood sugar levels.
Munster said for the 2013 calendar year, he expects Apple to have three main product events plus its usual software preview at WWDC. In March 2013 they expect Apple’s radio service to launched, possibly beside a new product like an updated iPad Mini or Apple TV box.
In June Apple holds its WWDC, which is when the new iOS 7 is expected. App developers have already found evidence that Apple is testing iOS 7 and a new iPhone for compatibility with the most popular apps. Munster also expects improved Macbook Airs.
By September, he expects to see the announcement about the iPhone 5S, which he doesn’t believe will be much of an upgrade from the iPhone 5. Then in November he believes the Apple Television set will be released.
Munster has rated shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as Overweight and set his price target at $900 per share.