Rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to introduce a smart watch gained greater credibility Tuesday after a new report said that the company might have formed a shell corporation to register “iWatch” trademarks on the sly.
According to a report from Consomac, a French website, the dummy company, named “Brightflash USA LLC,” is registered to a Delaware-based corporate services company that Apple is said to have used earlier to conduct similar secret trademark registrations.
Brightflash has sought a trademark registration for “iWatch” in at least five major jurisdictions, including the U.S., UK, the European Union, Australia and Denmark, AppleInsider reported, adding that the company has also filed in a number of smaller markets such as Antigua and Barbuda, Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Botswana, China, Cuba, Curacao, Georgia, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Monaco, Namibia, Oman, Serbia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Zambia.
According to AppleInsider, each of the registrations in question is filed under “class 14," a section that covers jewelry, clocks and watches, lending credence to rumors that an Apple smart watch is indeed on its way.
Will iWatch Replace iPod Touch?
Christopher Caso, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, said in a research note Tuesday that Apple could begin production of the iWatch with two screen sizes in the fourth quarter of this year. Caso also said that the smart watch could replace the iPod touch.
“We, however, aren’t assuming a material impact to earnings from iWatch, since the iWatch would essentially replace the iPod in the consumer portion of AAPL’s product lineup,” Caso said in a statement, obtained by iDownloadBlog.
Caso also said that while Apple may not stop producing iPod touch devices immediately, the company will most likely not release a new version of the device in 2014. According to him, the Cupertino-based tech giant has an iWatch production target of about 6 million units.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also said earlier this year that the company’s iPod “is a declining business.” According to Apple, iPod touch sales dropped to below $5 billion in 2013, down from more than $8 billion in 2008.