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商业 - 科技

苹果手表将取代iPhone?

JP Mangalindan 2013年01月05日

业界盛传,苹果明年有望推出一款手表造型的可佩戴式计算机,价格可能比iPhone更便宜,或将取代传统的手机和电脑。

图为一位苹果铁杆粉丝想象的苹果手表。酷不酷?

    苹果(Apple)真的在开发iWatch吗?

    假日期间,整个博客圈都议论纷纷。现在,投资银行Piper Jaffray的分析师吉恩•蒙斯特勇敢地跳了出来。他在本周早些时候发布了一篇报告,指出苹果将在明年或更晚些时候推出一款“可佩戴式计算机”。

    明斯特认为,“可佩戴式计算机”有望成为未来主流的科技趋势,同时成为苹果一个重要的全新收入来源。除了手表,还有不少新设备也将可以佩戴。苹果手表和即将上市的谷歌(Google)增强现实眼镜Project Glass很像,后者能实现许多智能手机的功能,例如打电话、发短信、上网冲浪和语音控制等。

    蒙斯特同时指出,由于这些苹果新设备的功能和iPhone相差无几,市场对iPhone和平板电脑的需求将日益枯萎。它们可能在10余年后退出市场。“从长远看,眼镜或投影仪的屏幕将取代智能手机和平板电脑上的屏幕,”明斯特写道。他表示,这些新设备的价格有望比iPhone更便宜,它们将成为苹果切入新兴市场的最有力武器。

    有一点可以肯定:各式各样的可佩戴式计算机终将走向统一。从谷歌频频曝光的增强现实眼镜到耐克(Nike)的Nike+系列产品,再到捷波朗(Jawbone)的UP手环,我们可从中一窥该技术的前景:有朝一日,我们的一举一动都能被记录和图表化。技术还在不断进步,电池续航时间越来越长,感应器越做越小,无线模块越来越便宜,安谋科技(ARM)、高通(Qualcom)和英特尔(Intel)等公司正推动电子元器件嵌入我们的衣服和配饰中。

    有趣的是,蒙斯特甚至预想,在可佩戴式计算机的流行方面,可能会出现男女有别的趋势。如果iWatch设计得比较大,那么它肯定更受男性用户的欢迎。蒙斯特称:“女性用户不大可能佩戴这种手表,因为女式手表通常小巧玲珑、凸显时尚。”真的是这样吗?还是明斯特在搞性别歧视?你自己拿主意吧。

    Could Apple be developing an iWatch?

    The blogosphere speculated over the holidays, and now Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has come right out and said as much, stating in a report out earlier this week that the company will eventually come out with a "wearable computer" next year or later.

    Munster views the "wearable computer" as a major future tech trend and one significant, untapped revenue stream for Apple (AAPL). A watch could be just one of several new products worn on the body. The idea is much like Google's (GOOG) upcoming augmented reality eyewear, Project Glass, that lets users to do things contemporary smartphones already do, like place voice calls, text, search the Web, and navigate via voice control.

    Munster also argues that since these Apple devices would perform closely enough to the iPhone, the need for the iPhone itself or tablet could become null and void. Timeframe for extinction: Over the next 10-plus years. "Longer term, screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet," writes Munster, who argues they're likely to be cheaper than an iPhone and could ultimately be Apple's best answer to addressing emerging markets.

    One thing is for sure: the disparate strands of wearable computing are finally starting to come together. Aside from Google's much publicized glasses, Nike's (NKE) Nike+ series of productsas well as Jawbone's UP band give a glimpse into a potential future when every movement is tracked and tabulated. Advances like longer-lasting batteries, smaller accelerometers, and cheaper radio components also have firms such as ARM (ARMH), Qualcom (QCOM), and Intel (INTC) driving the push to stitch circuitry into clothing and apparel.

    Interestingly enough, he also envisions a potential gender divide when it comes to the popularity of wearable computers. If an iWatch is designed on the larger side, it could prove more popular with men than women. Says Munster: "It is less likely women will embrace them given women's watches tend to be smaller with a greater emphasis on fashion." Truth or just plain sexist? You decide.

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