San Francisco – After months of rumours, there is at last tangible proof that Apple is preparing to launch a smartwatch.
According to reports on Apple blogs on Tuesday, the maker of the iPhone and iPad has applied to trademark the iWatch brand in numerous countries including Russia, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey and Taiwan.
The filings, which all reference Apple and its address at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, appear to have been made simultaneously on 3 June.
The trademark filings follow numerous reports that Apple is developing a wearable computer that may even feature an electronic wrist band to display information, giving the device more real estate than just a small watch screen.
The company's main rivals, Google and Samsung, are reported to be developing similar devices, which rely on the miniaturisation of electronic components to provide a wide range of services on a handy, wearable screen.
If the iWatch is introduced this year, as widely predicted, it will mark Apple's first major launch of a new product category since Tim Cook took over leadership of the company in August 2011.