Apple is expected to introduce its long-awaited iWatch device before the end of the year, but that's just one small part of what the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has planned.
Apple is very close to having the pieces in place to revolutionize yet another industry, just as it has done with computers, music, and mobile phones.
It's exactly the sort of boost that Apple stock has needed for the past year as investors have awaited the company's Next Big Thing.
Wearable technology is the next chapter in the story of the "mobile wave," which started with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
But while sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have started to flatten, the new category of wearable tech – smartwatches, smart wristbands, and headsets like Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Google Glass – is poised to break out.
According to a February report by research firm Canalys, wearable tech will graduate to become a "key consumer technology" this year. The firm predicts the smart wristband segment alone will grow from 8 million this year to 23 million in 2015 and more than 45 million in 2017.
And a Juniper Research study at the end of last year forecast that retail revenue from the wearable technology market will grow from $1.4 billion in 2013 to $19 billion in 2018.
With sales of Apple's iPhone and iPad flattening, and mobile competition from other device makers like Google and Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) getting tougher every quarter, the company needs to become the undisputed leader in the wearable tech category.
What Apple has done is fixate on the single most compelling aspect of wearable tech – the one thing that will drive the most people to buy and use wearable tech devices – and apply its philosophy of vertical integration as only Apple can.
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.