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iPhone-connected smart watch may be in the pipeline

Apple is reportedly planning to expand its mobile device line-up with a range of smart watches, designed for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and featuring low-power processing technology from Intel.

According to claims made in the Chinese press quoting supply chain sources, Apple is planning to launch a line of smart watches some time this year. Designed to be paired with iOS devices via Bluetooth, the watch would provide a convenient way of controlling features including music playback without having to remove your phone from your pocket or your tablet from your bag.

The system would also allow for message content - including iMessage, SMS and email messages - to be read and potentially even responded to, while also providing feedback from apps running on the device. It may even be possible for Apple to tie the system in to other iPhone and iPad applications such as Apple Maps, to allow for at-a-glance location checking without the need to hold the device.

Such devices aren't exactly new, of course: Sony's SmartWatch is already on the market for Android smartphone and tablet users, while the iPhone-compatible Pebble raised over $10 million through the KickStarter crowd-funding programme - and then sadly missed its September launch date. Even Google is getting in on the act, with the company patenting a Nexus-branded smartwatch of its own.

Thus far, Apple has not commented on the rumoured existence of the smartwatch, with no information yet available on pricing or availability.

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