Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled its new iPhones last week, and it has gotten plenty of complaints about the price of the iPhone 5C. But already some are examining the flagship iPhone 5S for clues about what the company might do next. And of course wearable computing devices are at the top of the list, reports Bloomberg’s Adam Satariano.
Apple takes important steps in the iPhone 5S
Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin told Bloomberg that the motion sensor chip and the fingerprint sensor are two important steps Apple is taking to make a push toward computing devices. He also said the new 64-bit processor chip in the iPhone 5S could mean the company is going to switch its Mac computers way from the chips made by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). The result could be a greater integration of Apple’s Mac computers and its iOS devices.
Signs Apple is moving toward wearable computing
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been trademarking the iWatch name in various countries for some time. In addition, there have been reports that the company is building a dream team to work on its rumored iWatch. Bloomberg’s sources have also said that there are approximately 100 engineers and designers working on some sort of watch-like device at Apple.
At the iPhone 5S unveiling, the company hinted further at a push toward wearable devices, highlighting how the handset can be used for fitness applications. There are already many watch-like devices which are designed for fitness applications, so the motion chip in the iPhone 5S could suggest that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is moving in that direction as well. CEO Tim Cook has praised Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE)’s FuelBand and even been seen wearing it, further suggesting that the company could be making the rumored iWatch.
Analysts speculate about the iWatch
Forrest Research analyst Sarah Rotman suggests that the motion sensor chip that’s in the iPhone 5S could also be used in an iWatch device. She said the motion chip will make the device it’s in “much more powerful and make the experience of using it more seamless.”
The chip is designed to be as efficient as possible in terms of battery usage, which could solve one of the greatest problems of having a wearable device which constantly collects data from the wearer’s daily activities.
Apple could be moving into mobile payments too
Of course there has been plenty of speculation about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s plans for the fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S as well. Analysts have also been speculating that the company can and should move into the secure payments business, especially by using the fingerprint sensor for security when making mobile payments through the handset.
After all, Apple already has a database of 435 million credit card numbers, which it keeps on file for iTunes. Analysts say the company could leverage that database for a mobile payment system using the fingerprint as the key.
At this point the fingerprint is only being used to confirm the handset owner’s purchase on iTunes or the App Store. It isn’t available for outside developers to work with, although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could choose to unlock it later, which would open up plenty of opportunities for app developers, according to Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe.