Seeking Alpha

Apple (AAPL) is aggressively hiring workers and looking to "acqui-hire" startups for its iWatch...

Apple (AAPL) is aggressively hiring workers and looking to "acqui-hire" startups for its iWatch design/engineering efforts, the FT reports. However, sources add the timing of the hires suggests the device won't be ready until 2H14. Many think the recent hiring of Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on "special projects" was at least partly made with the iWatch in mind. If/when it arrives, the product will target a $60B industry with an estimated 60% gross margin.
From other sites
Comments (28)
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1165) | Send Message
     
    As previously mentioned, if you believe iwatches and similar devices will be successful, the stock to look into is INVN.
    14 Jul 2013, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • Whitehawk
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    INVN has already had quite a run and is expensive, but it has a relatively small float with short % on the high side. Can it explode even higher like CRUS and other suppliers did? That was at a time of rapidly rising Appl share price. This iWatch fad may take off about as well as iTV and is not immediately in the coming. To get beyond what is already available with bluetooth devices, Appl will need to add much more than just motion control and tracking HW, which is in most every smartphone already. (Just giving the skeptic point of view, as I usually am wont to do. Appreciate rebuttals.)
    14 Jul 2013, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1165) | Send Message
     
    Whitehawk,

     

    I said "if you believe iwatches ... will be successful." If you don't think they will be successful, perhaps you can look at something else. I happen to think iwatch like devices (lets call them smart watches) will be successful, but that is just me.

     

    By the way, the smart watch is not a competitor to the mobile phone, it is a compliment. It will allow you to check for important notifications with a single glance without taking your phone out. There are smart watches out already and they seem pretty popular. Check out the "pebble".

     

    Also, invn is not expensive for a high growth company. It's PEG ratio is only a little above 1, and, as loophole mentioned, it is far below its all time highs.
    14 Jul 2013, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Whitehawk
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    PM: I refer to Pebble when I mentioned (wearable) bluetooth devices. I am curious how popular Pebble really is or can grow to be. I sent the link months ago to some other tech savvy people and they weren't interested. Therefore I suggest again that Appl has to bring something more to the table than what is currently available. The question for INVN is what their mems hw market growth is if they are already a supplier to smartphone and gameboy/box vendors, or other portable devices that require motion control and tracking. Do you know?
    14 Jul 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1706) | Send Message
     
    " I am curious how popular Pebble really is or can grow to be. I sent the link months ago to some other tech savvy people and they weren't interested."

     

    Because only tech savvy people buy new tech products right? lol
    14 Jul 2013, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1165) | Send Message
     
    There are several growth drivers:

     

    1. In the developing world (or, in other words, in most of the world) people are switching from feature phones or rudimentary smart phones that do not have mems to better smart phones that do have mems. Thus, Invensense's market in the developing world is expanding very quickly and much faster than the overall smart phone market there. This trend is just beginning now and one should expect it to continue for a couple of years at least.

     

    2. Same thing as 1. but with tablets.

     

    3. Apple does not use INVN in their current phones. But rumor is that INVN chips are designed in at least one of their two new phones. This rumor has been confirmed by several analysts already, so it is likely true. This will be an immediate growth driver for INVN that will probably come in next quarter.

     

    4. INVN also sells a chip that is used for optical image stabilization in smart phone cameras (OIS). This OIS chip is separate from the phone's motion detector/gyroscope. This is also a growth driver because most old phones do not have OIS but many new high end phones do and use INVN's chip. (As far as I know INVN is the only company that makes a cellphone OIS motion detector chip).

     

    While items (1-4) are happening right now or in the immediate future , the following are a bit more speculative:

     

    5. Wearable devices. INVN is already confirmed to be in the Google Glass and will probably be in the various smart watches. If wearable devices take off this is an enormous market.

     

    6. Industrial. There will probably be a motion sensor in every robot arm made in the near future. It is potentially a much cheaper way to keep track of the position of the arm than the presently available alternatives. INVN has already released a set of industrial chips for testing. If testing is successful, one can expect production to start next year. This will probably take a bit longer to play out, but it is a huge market, if successful.

     

    I should write an article about all this...
    14 Jul 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • lakawak
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    What if you have a brain and know that NO ONE is asking to have to buy yet another expensive device, plus add it to their existing mobile plan at a cost of another $10 a month at least? And since the iWatch won't do anything that a smart phone can't do (better) and will not b able to do many things that a smart phone can..why would people buy these? NO ONE has said "You know...I really wish I could access the internet right now...but the act of taking the smart phone out of my pocket is too tiring. If only I had something with a tiny screen on my wrist instead."

     

    also...people are looking to spend LESS time online these days..not more. People are waking up to the fact that they have wasted their entire worthless existence online. Some are choosing suicide when they realize it is too late to develop the social skills needed to ever live a real life Others are trying to spend less time online and enjoy LIFE .

     

    Any way you look at it, the iWatch will be a failure. And it's competitors will be an even bigger failure.
    15 Jul 2013, 03:59 AM Reply Like
  • emperor2
    , contributor
    Comments (82) | Send Message
     
    Really intelligent pundits predicted failure for the iPhone and iPad. Too expensive. No market for the product. Who would possibly want one? But Apple developed a market that didn't exist before their products. Personally, I'm going to wait to see what the iWatch really is, if in fact it really becomes a product, before I form a positive or negative opinion.
    15 Jul 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • kimboslice
    , contributor
    Comments (1557) | Send Message
     
    The Apple iWatch will succeed.
    Why? Because people invented it already just for fun using the square iPod Nanos.
    Numerous businesses popped up to make the bands to hold them.
    Imagine a watch that you could fool around with and change the face design infinitely, one day it's digital, the next Swiss Train station analog, the next British London style, etc.
    The iWatch will be a fun product that shares some functions of iPods, iPhone and it will make Apple a gazillon bucks.
    Oh and me too I guess, it's great owning AAPL.
    14 Jul 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • CraigPowell
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    @kimboslice,
    Agree with you, see a good piece on: "What makes Apple so extraordinary": http://bit.ly/1anbG3Y
    Good week to all!
    15 Jul 2013, 03:53 AM Reply Like
  • lakawak
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    "people" invented it? Yeah...a few hundred people. What a HUGE success that would be.
    15 Jul 2013, 04:00 AM Reply Like
  • DOC7
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    I am confident that the Iwatch will have great success especially in Japan. I lived there for 3 years and saw their great love for Casio watches, Walkman and other innovative products.

     

    Doc7
    15 Jul 2013, 04:01 AM Reply Like
  • CraigPowell
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    $ 60 billion industry?
    If the price of iWatch will be ~$300, 3.5 millions iWatch's make it $60 billion.
    Is it underestimation?
    15 Jul 2013, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • Keep It Simple
    , contributor
    Comments (482) | Send Message
     
    @CraigPowell - Your math is a little off.

     

    $60 Billion worth of $300 iWatches = 20 Million units
    15 Jul 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • CraigPowell
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    @ Keep it Simple,
    Thanks, my mistake (took $1 billion instead of 60)
    Nice week!
    15 Jul 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Loophole69
    , contributor
    Comments (197) | Send Message
     
    Whitehawk- INVN has bounced between 10 and a little over 15 since it hit its high of over 21 back in 2012. Not exactly what I would call a run-away stock price, though it maybe expensive.
    14 Jul 2013, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • Whitehawk
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    Compare an 18-month-2yr chart of INVN, Appl and CRUS. INVN had its pop in early May from the Appl iWatch rumor.
    14 Jul 2013, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • lakawak
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    A drop from 21 to 14-15 is still a better run since last summer than AAPL has had.
    15 Jul 2013, 04:01 AM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    Nice margins - odds are the device will be better than expected imo, not that that necessarily means it will impact the stock much.
    14 Jul 2013, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • adrian816
    , contributor
    Comments (177) | Send Message
     
    What could Apple do with an iwatch? Embed a NFC payment chip in the watch, linked by bluetooth to an iphone. When someone waves the watch past a payment device (supermarket checkout or bus e-ticket reader) money from the users itunes account is deducted via the phone to make the payment. Because all the necessary parts are there that's going to work when any other smartwatch can't - music and in-game purchases are already made through an itunes account.
    14 Jul 2013, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • lakawak
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    And why wouldn't they just use their iPhone?

     

    The fact is...no one is asking to have ANOTHER mobile device to pay for every month. And certainly not one with a tiny screen, with virtually no way to input anything reliably.

     

    Certainly not for the 1% of stores that allow you to pay for something that way.
    15 Jul 2013, 04:03 AM Reply Like
  • Keep It Simple
    , contributor
    Comments (482) | Send Message
     
    Pretty sure you won't pay a monthly fee on your iWatch.

     

    That's just silly...
    15 Jul 2013, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • ChrisCDC
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
     
    That is good news that they are hiring. Lot of college grads looking for work.

     

    I want to see a hologram 3D display on my new iWatch.
    14 Jul 2013, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (804) | Send Message
     
    How about iShoes, iBelts and iTies so you can fully accessorize?
    14 Jul 2013, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • thescepticscientist
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    i think post steve jobs Apple has lost the ability to execute its ideas to completion....by now iphone 5s should have been out to counter the competition..iwatch will be delayed further i think..
    14 Jul 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • bjnflicks
    , contributor
    Comments (3301) | Send Message
     
    The iWatch will be successful and it is in the works, but no one including this writer knows the details including the release date. Tim Cook told a private gathering of Apple Store managers last month that they have "oodles" of new products coming later this year. That means more than a couple.

     

    So we have a refresh for the iPhone and iPad almost definitely, but that is not oodles. Cook promised his own people more, a lot more. So the iWatch may be coming out in November. They have been working on it for a long time so that is the logical release date. Or if not, then he must be talking about a supped up Apple-Tv box, cheaper iPhone (mainly for other countries), maybe remote control device which blows away conventional remotes, something called the iWallet, possibly some kind iCar or more.

     

    Again though Apple is so secretive about this that we can only wait and see. I spoke to the manager of my local Apple store and he told me he never finds out what they are doing until the moment it is released, and he is a veteran Apple employee. Meanwhile some rumors will be true, others not. And Apple will not rush out a project until it's 100% ready, that is their history.

     

    Also, if and when the iWatch is released it will blow away any other computer watch on the market. For some thing it will be hooked into the Apple ecosystem and would probably enable phone calling.
    One thing we do know is that they will be launching multiple new products. They have already hired 40,000 people, in Taiwan I think, so they are beefing up for some big rollouts in the late 3rd to 4tth quarters. Right now they are busy selling off all older models like iPhone 4's at discounts. This will gain them important new customers though margins will be less than normal. My mother just bought an iPhone at T-Mobile and told me ten other people also bought them while she was waiting, but not a single person bought a Samsung or anything else. So do not be surprised if Apple delivers a surprising upside beat next week. In any case the stock is so cheap now it's a no-brainer bargain regardless of the scheduling. Cheapest major stock in the world, and still the world's finest company making the most money. The stock price is what doesn't compute now. Everything else will take care of itself. Apple is very busy innovating and preparing, you can bet on that.
    14 Jul 2013, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • tiger8896
    , contributor
    Comments (640) | Send Message
     
    Apple has some challenges with that iWatch but it looks to be their next big thing unlike iTV which proved to be too challenging with the need to do deals with the content providers and the commodity pricing of TV sets in general.

     

    The biggest challenge to me is that high end watches are mainly pieces of jewelery and are purchased for their cachet, style and looks and I have yet to see a digital watch that compares to a Rolex or an Omega in terms of looks. Looks like the watch is a year away so they have plenty of time to craft a design that will make people want to dump their Rolexes and Omegas because the iWatch looks so classy on your wrist and complements your iPhone.
    15 Jul 2013, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • Keep It Simple
    , contributor
    Comments (482) | Send Message
     
    Hah, just thought of this:

     

    What if the iWatch has the same 3D paralax setup as the new iOS7. Then you could basically download any watchface - maybe even buy optional Rolex throwback wallpapers or something along those lines.

     

    At any rate, that 3D setup on the iWatch would create depth similar to an actual watch. And that alone sounds promising.
    15 Jul 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs