July 3, 2014
After meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook recently, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich sent a note to investors saying that voice messaging may be a key feature of Apple's long-rumored "iWatch." This is on the basis of Cook's comments on the widespread use of voice messaging rather than text messaging among on-the-go users in China. Fortune relays Milunovich's note:
When we visited with Tim Cook, he said that walking down streets in China one sees people speaking into their phones sending voice rather than text messages. Porting this capability to the watch makes sense as it is easier to send a voice message from a device already on the wrist than pulling out a phone. It also could aid penetration of China, which Cook said has a ways to go.Said to be powered by iOS 8, the iWatch is likely to feature the same voice messaging functionality of the latest major iteration of Apple's mobile operating system. As previewed at Apple's WWDC 2014 keynote, voice messaging in iOS 8 involves simple gestures: Touch and hold to record a message, then swipe up to send it, and hold the device to your ear to listen to a message. Indeed, these gestures lend themselves well to the iWatch's small screen. The iWatch is expected to be launched by Apple in October. According to earlier reports, it will be available in multiple display sizes and come equipped with more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness. Milunovich previously said in a note to investors that Apple could sell 21 million units of the wearable device in fiscal 2015 and 36 million units the following year. See also: Apple Hires Atlas Wearables' Lead Software Engineer To Work On "iWatch," If You Believe This Survey, Apple's "iWatch" Could Be A Disaster, and Apple Working With Kobe Bryant And Other Pro Athletes In Testing "iWatch" For Fitness.