A June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office reveals that Apple has applied for a trademark for “iWatch” in the Land of the Rising Sun. The device is listed in a category that includes other products like handheld computers and watches according to the listing which was recently made public.
Two people familiar with the company’s plans noted earlier this year that Apple had a team of around 100 people working on a wristwatch that could possibly perform some of the same functions that the iPhone and iPad currently handle.
Breaking into a new market could be just what Apple needs to help reverse dwindling stock prices. Critics believe Apple CEO Tim Cook has waited too long to deliver a new, exciting product that could be used to help make up for tough iPhone competition. Most believed that product would be a connected television set but as the days tick by, such a device doesn’t seem to be on the horizon any more than it did a couple of years ago.
iWatch seems like a logical name for an Apple smartwatch but as we know with Cupertino, nothing is a given until its official. The filing could just as easily be a placeholder to prevent another company from scooping up the name and using it to confuse customers once they finally get their smartwatch to market, a common strategy in the trademark / patent industry.