The rumor mills are in overdrive, and creating a buzz about the possibility of Apple launching their all new smartwatch in collaboration with Intel some time later this year. Unofficially termed as the iWatch, this highly anticipated gadget could prove to be the next big game changer in wearable computing. Discussions and speculations are flying around plenty about the possible features and functions that the iWatch would have. However, it would be interesting to see Apple’s game plan in this direction after the colossal failure of Sony’s smartwatch in 2012.

With the Pebble receiving such a great response on kickstarter, many feel that the time is right for the advent of smartwatches. But will iWatch provide the much needed shaking, and prove to be the next Swatch for the wristwatch industry, remains to be seen.

The rumors about the iWatch can be traced to a Chinese technology website that quoted two supply chain sources while indicating that a Bluetooth-equipped smart wristwatch, funded by Apple, is already in advanced stages of development. The same sources also claimed that this brand new gadget from Apple will feature a 1.5 inch screen, and is likely to hit the markets before June 2012.

However, it won’t be the first time that someone will sport an Apple timekeeper on their wrists. The buzz around the possibility of an iWatch first appeared soon when certain manufacturers began designing and producing plastic wristbands to hold the Nano. The time display function on a resting Nano looks like a watch-face, leading many to believe that it was made to be worn like a watch to start with.

Skeptics question the possibility of Apple extending its product range to watches. However, believers say that the iWatch is less about telling the time, and more about wearable computing. Some experts in the tech industry are even suggesting that the development of Siri is a strong indicator of Apple’s motivation for entering the smartwatch market. They claim that Siri is still in beta for further development, is likely to become an effective replacement for the touch-screen display in future. Voice interaction is likely to improve drastically in the coming times. The iWatch will most likely feature a Siri activation better to offer – a voice controlled iPod Touch on your wrists that wirelessly bounces the audio to your ears. The iWatch is also likely to support voice phone calls, in a way that reminds us of the watches worn by movie spies and secret agents. This voice call feature is already provided in many current and upcoming smartwatches, and Apple would be foolish to ignore this new trend.

Most business experts believe that although the launch date is hard to speculate, Apple will eventually introduce some form of wearable computing like the iWatch, since wearable computers are likely to be the future trend and Apple would greatly benefit from it. However, one can’t help but wonder how the iWatch, if launched, affects the jewelry and wristwatch industry in the years to come.