n Tuesday, word got out that Apple has filed for trademark protections for the term "iWatch" in Taiwan, Russia, Mexico, and Japan.
We still don't know very much about it. Yes, it may have a wraparound touchscreen. And it may snap onto your wrist like a '90s slap bracelet. But we're still very much in the dark about the smartwatch's details.
The key question, however, is whether anyone is genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of an iWatch, which will be particularly important when shareholders and analysts start calling for a splashy new Apple product to launch the company's stock back to the stratosphere. (Whether those expectations are fair or not is a separate debate altogether.)
The early answer, at least right now? Consumers seem indifferent.
Google Trends is usually a reliable barometer for evaluating what people are excited about. Here's how interest in the search term "Apple iWatch" has waned since news of the gadget's existence leaked in February (E), before spiking again slightly with reports of the latest trademark filing.
Now, just for funsies, let's compare that with relative interest in "Google Glass" (red), which, unlike the iWatch unicorn, is a real product that's currently being tested by developers.
That's not a totally fair comparison, but it does illustrate one simple fact about the iWatch: Interest hasn't been growing steadily like it did for, say, the iPhone 5. Or the iPad Mini. Perhaps smartwatches are a dumb idea after all.
And that's not great news for Apple, which relies on the internet echo chamber to generate buzz for new products more than any other tech company. While it's important not to read too far into what Google tells us about Apple, there doesn't appear to be any momentum behind an iWatch.
- 5 books to read before your 30th birthday
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What to expect when you're expecting (100 years ago)
- 6 photos that Facebook controversially banned
- Is it possible to live forever?
- Remembering Nelson Mandela: The world's front pages
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- 32 TV shows to watch in 2013 [Updated]
- 7 health benefits of playing video games
- Can you 3D print an Hermes handbag?
Subscribe to the Week