Russian newspaper Izvestia (via AppleInsider) reports that Apple has filed a trademark for the term “iWatch” in Russia, which has sparked off speculations that Apple is indeed planning to launch a smartwatch.
Apple has filed for ownership of product names before their official announcement in the past, but historically those registrations have been done discreetly overseas under shell corporation names. For example, Apple began obtaining the international rights to the iPad name early as 2006 through a British shell corporation named “IP Application Development Limited,” or “IPAD Ltd.”
This week’s report from Russia gave no indication that the alleged “iWatch” trademark filing was done under any such secrecy. It does claim that the first registered “iWatch” trademark filing was made in Jamaica in December of 2012.
It is important to note that filing a trademark for a term does not mean Apple will indeed launch the smartwatch, and even if it does, that it will be called the ‘iWatch.’ Before Apple launched the iPad, it was widely speculated that Apple will be calling their tablet – iSlate, as one of Apple’s shell company had trademarked the term ‘iSlate’.
It has been widely speculated that Apple will launch an iOS based iWatch later this year. Last week, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said wearable tech was an area of ‘profound’ interest for the company during an interview at the D11 Conference.