SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Asking what Apple has up its sleeve is turning out to be rather apropos: The rumor mill is abuzz this week with claims that Apple is developing a smart watch that would likely be an accessory for the iPhone. I find this to be a pretty credible rumor for several reasons:

– Wearable tech in watch form was red hot at the Consumer Electronics Show a few weeks ago.

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– Apple needs a category-making wow product as it increasingly gets the reputation as an evolutionary company, if a very profitable one.

– Technologies that allow ultra-miniature wireless, long battery life in a tiny package and curved, bendable displays are all coming into their own in the year or two ahead and would be the building blocks Apple needs to make a watch that stuns.

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– A watch that requires an iPhone helps to defend against the increasing onslaught of Android phones and bolster the competitive barrier that iTunes used to be.

– Apple has already shown its belief in the watch category with the recent square iPod Nano that started at least a cottage industry in watch bands to make it a smartwatch, though not a connected one.

I don’t expect this product any time soon — I would expect Apple to unveil a television long before a watch – but I’d rate it a likelihood more than a long shot.

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