Apple hasn't confirmed that it is working on a smartwatch, or that the rumored device will be called "iWatch," but it has filed for a trademark on the name in Japan. That, in and of itself, isn't confirmation that Apple really does have a smartwatch in the works, but it sure does make the idea more plausible.
The rumors surrounding the iWatch claim it will link wirelessly to user's iPhones to display messages, alerts and other content such as driving directions and weather reports. It may also sport fitness tracking features and apparently the company has over 100 engineers working on the watch project, assuming, of course, that the reports allegedly leaking out of Cupertino are legit.
Now an Apple trademark filing in Japan from early June has surfaced for the iWatch name, according to Bloomberg.
Filing for an iWatch trademark could be proof positive that Apple is well on its way to shipping a wrist top computer device. It could also, however, be proof that Apple doesn't want anyone else using the name.
Regardless of whether or not Apple ships a smartwatch, the iWatch name is already firmly attached to an Apple-branded watch. By blocking other companies from using the name, Apple can help prevent confusion in the marketplace from competitors trying to capitalize on the iWatch hype.
The resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan's industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)
Check the locks on all the Colonel Sanders statues in Osaka, because the Hanshin Tigers are headed back to the Japan Series and it was a big home run from a bearded foreign star that helped get them there. (Japan Times)
The government on Friday approved Central Japan Railway Co.'s plan to construct the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line, paving the way for the 2027 start of magnetic levitation train service connecting Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes. (The Japan News)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Empress Michiko celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday. In a statement distributed to media by the Imperial Household Agency, the empress said she hoped the world could find peace ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year. (Japan Today)
The Nagano prefectural government's disaster response headquarters said Thursday it has decided to end its search this year for missing hikers on Mt. Ontake due to the growing risk of secondary accidents. (The Japan News)