iWatch concept (teaser 001)

Since we first began seeing ‘iWatch’ rumors back in early 2013, I’ve been wondering what the smartwatch will look like. Will it look like a traditional watch, similar to those from Samsung and Motorola? Or will it look more like a fitness band, like Nike’s FuelBand? What kind of features will it have?

Admittedly, there’s been no shortage of reports on the so-called iWatch, but a new research note from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo offers perhaps the most comprehensive look at the device we’ve seen. The analyst says the watch will come in two sizes, feature wireless charging, and will be “fashionable.”

MacRumors has obtained a copy of Kuo’s research note, and reports that the iWatch will come in 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flavors—both of which will come with flexible AMOLED displays with sapphire covers to protect from scratches. They’ll also both feature various biometric sensors and an NFC chip.

Kuo believes many of the iWatch’s mechanical components will be made of liquid metal, including an innovative antenna design that will allow for wireless charging. That should make it easy to recharge the 200-250mAh battery pack, which the analyst says will “last longer than most other wearables.”

So what is it going to look like? Kuo expects the smartwatch will be slim and light, and fashionable in appearance. “We are confident on Apple’s ability to make wearable devices with good fashion sense, which sets Apple apart from rivals.” He also says the device will be offered at multiple price points.

iWatch concept (Stopwatch and navigation, Gabor Balogh 001)iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh 

So it sounds like the iWatch will start at current smartwatch prices, maybe a little more expensive, and go up from there. Depending on what materials Apple uses, high-end iWatch models could rival high-end wristwatches, meaning the most expensive models could venture into the thousands of dollars.

Fashion is the name of the game; most expensive model likely priced at several thousand US dollars. Referring to the rules of the fashion market, we predict the iWatch casing and band will come in various materials. The most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand US dollars. 

Admittedly, this sounds like an odd approach for Apple, who typically tries to keep its consumer products affordable. But if you look at its other product lines, there are generally large gaps between entry-level and top-tier model pricing. For example, the MacBook Pro starts at $1299 and maxes out at $3300.

Also worth noting is that Kuo is one of the most reliable sources for Apple intel in the business, nailing down most of the details for the iPhone 5s, 5c and the two iPads in January of last year—9 months before they launched. And, a lot of what he’s said today lines up with previous reports and information.

Anyway, Apple is expected to unveil its iWatch in September, and industry watchers think it could sell as many as 65 million units by the end of the year.