Apple Inc. (AAPL) aims to make the iWatch the new iPhone

Naysayers abound in the tech world, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of their favorite targets, partly due to it prominence and perhaps also to its perceived haughtiness. The iWatch has come under fire as a “blue sky project,” criticism that is prompted by the very real fact that smartwatches have thus far received a tepid reception, and in some instances have proven to be outright duds. However, Michael Gold of Reuters reports that Apple is moving ahead with plans to have Quanta produce the watches, to the tune of some 50 million devices over the twelve months following its late 2014 release.

Apple is clearly confident that it can work its old magic in the new tech-filled world of the 2010s, and pull off another “iPhone.” Since most details of the design are still wrapped in the deepest secrecy, analysts have nothing to work with when attempting to judge just how innovative the iWatch will truly prove to be, or even, in fact, whether it will actually be called the “iWatch.”

iWatchOne firm fact seems to be that the iWatch will sport a round face rather than the squares or rectangles of all current competitors. This is a major stylistic divergence, but style alone is unlikely to carry the day in producing 50 million sales in a market where even electronics giant Samsung sold less than a million units of their smartwatch entry, the Galaxy Gear. Form counts for a lot in Apple’s product lineup, with Jony Ive’s sleek, almost edible designs being one of several major selling points. But function will also need to be exceptional to achieve such sales figures.

Thus far, function appears to be no different from other smartwatches on the market. According to the source quoted by Reuters, the watch measures heart rate and other biometrics, but sport watches have been doing this for decades. Email and telephone assistance are also nothing new, and though inclusion of these features is necessary to bring the iWatch up to speed with other modern smartwatches, neither offer the kind of advantage that Apple (AAPL) seems to be relying on to move 50 million units in just one year.

Inclusion in the unique Apple ecosystem will, of course, boost iWatch sales to some degree. However, there seems likely to be some break with tradition, something new and exciting, that Apple is counting on to create another iPhone-style success story. Some element of the interface seems likely, perhaps involving advanced voice control in the fashion of Dick Tracy’s fiction wrist radio. Or perhaps Apple is simply relying on the whole tech world waiting with bated breath – which it is – to create a massive wave of sales due to unbearable levels of anticipation once the iWatch becomes a tangible, available product.