Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Soft Focus: Sources tell Re/code that Apple (AAPL) will not debut either a smartwatch or a major hardware upgrade for its Apple TV set-top box at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. Instead, Apple will focus on its overhaul of the Mac OS X operating system. OS X 10.10 has been extensively redesigned and will take center stage at the WWDC so that Apple can promote the refreshed OS to developers, 9to5Mac notes. OS X may receive even more attention than iOS 8 at the WWDC. iOS 8 will launch later this year with next-generation iPhones. Apple is reportedly diverting software talent from iOS to OS X to ensure that the Mac operating system is ready by the time WWDC kicks off. While the new version of OS X will take some cues from iOS, Apple is apparently not planning to combine the operating systems, leaving each with a distinct feel. OS X 10.10 is expected to reach consumers by fall. While Apple is said to be working to incorporate a range of new features — including a Healthbook app and transit maps inside Apple Maps — into iOS 8, recent rumors indicate that some of those features might not appear until the release of iOS 8.1 next year. Apple is likely to show off some of iOS 8’s new functionality at the WWDC.
Team-Building: With a flood of recent rumors suggesting that Apple plans to incorporate health-monitoring features into upcoming products, Reuters reports that the iPhone-maker is assembling a “team of senior medical technology experts.” According to the report, Apple has hired at least six biomedical professionals over the past twelve months, with many of the new hires possessing expertise in medical sensor technology. One unnamed health executive who spoke to Reuters said that Apple is planning to launch a health and fitness platform that would be based on its App Store. Among the companies that from which Apple has recruited personnel are Masimo Corp. (MASI), Vital Connect, O2 MedTech and Sano Intelligence. These companies have developed a range of biosensors to track vital statistics like heart rate, body temperature and blood oxygen saturation. Sources say that Apple recently poached biomedical engineer Alexander Chan away from Vital Connect.
Pre-emptive: Apple’s much-anticipated iWatch may have hit a snag even before Apple unveils the device, Bloomberg notes. Since last year, Apple has moved to trademark the iWatch name in a number of markets. Now Swiss watch-maker Swatch (SWGAY) is planning to oppose the name, arguing that it sounds too much like Swatch’s iSwatch trademark. Swatch has apparently contacted regulators in countries where Apple has registered the iWatch name to highlight the similarity is names. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek told Bloomberg that: “If somebody wants to register a name that is too close to a name that we have protected, we fight against it.”
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.