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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his reflationary policy, dubbed Abenomics, on Friday while opposition leaders argued it is failing, after the House of Representatives was dissolved on the day for a snap election. (Jiji Press)
Japan's Lower House speaker has issued a very unusual order. He told lawmakers to redo their "banzai" cheers because some chimed in before he finished reading the official declaration to dissolve the chamber. (NHK)
Murder suspect Chisako Kakehi invested most of the about Y1 billion she inherited from her spouses and lovers in futures trading and other financial products over the past few years, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from investigative sources. (The Japan News)
A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in duck droppings collected Tuesday in the town of Nagara in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, the Environment Ministry said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Japanese public prosecutors on Friday demanded a prison sentence of 10 years for Yusuke Katayama, who is accused of hijacking other people's personal computers and using them to send online threats. (Jiji Press)
According to various Japanese news sources, 83-year-old retiree Yasuji Shibata was arrested for selling obscene material via an Internet auction in April for 3,400 yen (about US$28) after police found explicit photos in his home on November 16. (rocketnews24.com)
Police raided Internet proxy server operators across Japan on Wednesday over a spate of online banking fraud cases, with at least two of the operators suspected of helping illegal access from China. (Jiji Press)
Chinese fans expressed an outpouring of sorrow for the death of veteran Japanese actor Ken Takakura, who rocketed to stardom here and became an icon who could bridge the icy relations that exist between the two nations. (Asahi)