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Will an iWatch Debut at the Apple Event Oct. 22?
Will an iWatch Debut at the Apple Event Oct. 22?

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 21, 2013 1:56PM

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Top technology providers see wearable devices like an Apple iWatch as an important market opportunity. However, Gartner expects that wearable devices will primarily remain a companion to mobile phones. Less than 1 percent of consumers will actually replace their mobile phones with a combination of a wearable device and a tablet by 2017.
 



Like always, there is no lack of rumors surrounding what Apple is unveiling at its San Francisco event Tuesday. Almost everyone expects new iPads, a refresh on some desktops and laptops, and, of course, the new OS X Mavericks operating system.

The iPad will be the star of the show, says the Los Angeles Times. That makes sense, given October is prime time for pushing out technology gadgets that aim to turn consumer heads this holiday shopping season. News reports indicate the fifth generation iPad will have a 9.7-inch screen with the new 64-bit A7 processor.

The second-generation iPad mini is also expected to make its debut Tuesday. It, too, is likely to sport the 64-bit A7 processor and may also offer a high-resolution Retina display. With market research firm Gartner reporting small tablets are all the rage, this could be a holiday favorite.

No Apple TV

It would be an absolute shocker if Cupertino rolled out a new Apple TV. Roger Entner, a principal analyst at Recon Analytics, told us Apple TV was more of a hobby for the late co-founder Steve Jobs. He doesn't expect to see a spotlight on Apple TV this fall.

"If there is an evolutionary refresh of Apple TV it will not move the needle. If this is television done right I think then it might move numbers," Entner said. "I got a Chromecast and I thought it was so cool and thought about all the things I would do with it. But the best thing to run with Chromecast is Netflix and I think the best thing to do with Apple TV is probably Netflix."

What About Wearables?

Next, will we finally see an iWatch? After all, Sony and Samsung are already pushing out devices to the market. But given market research reports, Apple may be wise to wait.

Top technology providers see wearable devices as an important market opportunity. However, Gartner expects that wearable devices will primarily remain a companion to mobile phones. Less than 1 percent of consumers will actually replace their mobile phones with a combination of a wearable device and a tablet by 2017.

"For wearables to be successful, they need to add to the user experience by complementing and enhancing what other devices already offer. They also need to be stylish yet practical, and most of all hit the right price," said Carolina Milanesi, a research vice president at Gartner. "In the short term, we expect consumers to look at wearables as nice to have rather than a 'must have,' leaving smartphones to play the role of our faithful companion throughout the day."
 

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