Rumours of an iWatch just keep coming, with the latest reports suggesting that Apple has a team of at least 100 designers working on a smart watch.

Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter in its report, which claims that the team working on an Apple smart watch has grown to around 100 people, including managers, marketing, software and hardware personnel who were previously working on the iPhone and iPad.

Due to the size of the team, the anonymous sources believe that the iWatch has now passed the experimentation phase in its development.

According to the report, Apple's Senior Director of Engineering James Foster and Apple manager Achim Pantfoerder are part of the team working on the iWatch.

 

Bloomberg's claims follow reports over the weekend from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that suggested that Apple is working on a watch-like wearable device with some smartphone capabilities, as the company looks to new product categories for future growth. SEE: iWatch release date, rumours and leaked images

Despite the rumours, potential rival Pebble, which started shipping its smart watch this year, has said that it is not scared of a competing device from Apple. This has lead to questions about a potential partnership between the two companies.

When asked whether Apple CEO Tim Cook had approached him about a possible acquisition of the company, Pebble's co-founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky said in an interview on Tuesday: "I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately."

An iPhone jailbreak tweak has already enabled users to receive notifications from all apps via the Pebble. Without the hack, Pebble only works with the Messages, Phone and certain music apps. 

While it isn't known for sure whether Apple will launch an iWatch, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said in a report issued on Tuesday that the device, combined with Apple TV initiatives, could bring in an additional $80 billion in revenue for the company.

Though Huberty admits no knowledge of an Apple smart watch, her analysis has concluded that the product could drive an incremental $10 to $15 billion in revenue, reports Apple Insider. That estimate assumes a 20 per cent attach rate (the percentage of iOS users who would add the iWatch to their current product lineup), and sell-through of 50 million units per year at a price point between $200 to $300 (around £125 to £190).

If that attach rate rises to 40 per cent, those revenue figures could double, and with a 60 per cent attach rate, they could triple, said Huberty.

An additional $17 billion in yearly revenue could be made if Apple also launches a smart TV, a product that has been widely speculated since as far back as 2009. Huberty's iTV estimate is based on an average selling price of $1,300 (£830), with a 10 per cent attach rate.

"Importantly, iTV and iWatch present new services opportunities that can differentiate Apple's broader product portfolio, improving investor sentiment around Apple's ability to maintain market share," said Huberty. "Possibilities include, mobile payments service linked to iTunes/iWatch and video search and multi-screen viewing with iTV."

See also:

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