No one except Apple knows what new iProducts will launch in the coming months. However, that hasn’t stopped analysts from reading the tea leaves and putting a sales number on would-be products.
The latest with an opinion is Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen who believes that the so-called iWatch could be just as big as the iPod. And yes, bigger than an iTV, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
According to Chen, the overall watch industry is poised to generate $60 billion in sales in 2013. This is significant smaller than the $119 billon that the television industry should generate over the same time period. However, watches come with a higher gross margin of 60 percent.
This is four times bigger than the margins for televisions, according to Anand Srinivasan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.
The result, says Chen:
This can be a $6 billion opportunity for Apple, with plenty of opportunity for upside if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod — something consumers didn’t even know they needed.
This year alone, we’ve heard quite a few stories about how Apple is working on an iWatch. One story, in fact, suggested that Cupertino had a team of 100 engineers working full-time on the project.
At the same time, a Corning official suggested it would be at least three years before bendable glass would hit the market. A report in The New York Times said specifically that the iWatch would “stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.”
Where does this leave us? Again, only Apple knows for sure. However, if the past is any indication, don’t be surprised to see an iWatch unveiled later this year.
Most of the Apple rumors in 2012 focused on what became the iPad mini. This year, most of the buzz is on the iWatch, although we have heard some about the so-called iTV. As I said only last week, were Apple to announce a wearable iDevice, it would probably happen this fall ahead of the holiday shopping season.
As usual, we’ll keep you updated.
Photo: Apple iWatch Concept by Esben Oxholm