Apple's wearable shouldn't be a watch

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 10, 2014

We're just over a week into 2014, and while January has already been filled almost to the brim with new devices and gadgets thanks to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada that took place this week, we've still got so many days ahead of us, and so many more announcements to go, that I hope your excitement for this year hasn't already been dampened. CES is a great place for new gadgets and noteworthy announcements, but it's certainly not the biggest show of the year, nor does it even bolster the announcement that will ring the loudest this year. It's a good start, though.

While many people look forward to CES every year for what's going to be shown, our eyes are immediately in the future when it comes to most companies. For example: Microsoft, Google, Apple, Motorola, HTC, even LG and Samsung are all going to have their own events this year, all of which will drum up more attention for their products than the hustle and bustle that is CES would have. It's better to make all the noise yourself, instead of trying to yell louder than a hundred other companies.

I've been touching on the excitement of 2014 for a few weeks now, highlighting the fact that this year, maybe even more so than years before, is a big year for several companies. 2014 just has this air about it, like big things are going to happen, and that even bigger things are going to be announced after those big things.

It isn't just one company, or even two, either. A lot of them are treading new ground, or considering breaking down some barriers to enter new (or return to old, abandoned) markets. HTC's considering jumping back into the tablet market, for instance. Sony? Well, they've just confirmed that they are indeed in talks with Microsoft to bring a Windows Phone-based device to market. And Samsung may be ditching the old plastic design for their devices, and even changing the way TouchWiz looks. And this year's the year Apple launches a new iPhone, rather than just a slightly tweaked version than the year's previous model. No 'S' branding this year.

Along with that tablet, HTC's also said to be releasing a wearable device this year, too. That makes sense, because everyone else is going to be doing the same thing. Samsung's got a successor to the Galaxy Gear right around the corner, and supposedly Microsoft's still hard at work on their own device. Oh, and Sony has added to its wearable lineup, while LG's jumped into the foray, too.

So, what about Apple? Well, this could be the year that we see their device, too.

It's supposedly called the iWatch, and there has always been a lot of focus on the fact that, indeed, the Cupertino-based company's first wearable device would be a watch. Like the popular Pebble smartwatch. And that could very well be the case. As you can see from the concept image above, there are design ideas that could work for Apple's wearable device. And I'm sure Apple's been hard at work on the device for quite some time now.

The thing is, I don't think I necessarily want Apple to jump into the smartwatch race, but focus more on the broad aspect of the wearable market. This may sound strange, but I would almost like to see Apple create something more similar to Nike's FuelBand, rather than a traditional watch. Why? Because, much like Samsung is reportedly doing this year with the Galaxy Gear 2, I think it should focus on both health and, well, the time.

It obviously needs bonuses, like notifications and what not, but I don't want something as bulky -- or even close -- as a Galaxy Gear. A wristband like the FuelBand would make more sense. And it would be the perfect device to utilize Apple's new M7 processor in the iPhone 5s -- and, more than likely, the updated version of that design in the next iPhone.

The idea that the iWatch has to be specifically a watch is interesting, and I think it would still be a great device, probably, but I think a band that can also tell you the time would be the best bet for Apple. That focus on health, as well as the bonuses we've come to expect from a "smart" device like that, would be a great direction for Apple's wearable.

What do you think? Should Apple focus more on a wearable device that's similar to Nike's FuelBand, or just go all out with a watch? Or, do you think Apple should stay away from the wearable market altogether? Let me know!