1 Under-The-Radar Feature Could Define Apple's iWatch

This surprising feature could set Apple's iWatch apart from the competition.

Jul 5, 2014 at 1:00PM

With each passing day, speculation mounts regarding what amazing functionality Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might introduce in its upcoming iWatch device. So far we've seen claims of everything from wireless inductive charging, to a curved OLED display, to at least 10 sensors to track health and fitness. And there's little doubt Apple's iWatch already exists, especially given the supply chain reports that surfaced two weeks ago saying it's set to enter mass production sometime this month.

But for all the exciting new applications an iWatch could enable, there's another surprising feature that not only already exists, but also could prove the iWatch's key differentiating factor: voice messaging.

"Actually LOL. OL."
Apple introduced voice messaging in its recent previews of iOS 8, quipping that you'll soon be able to "Actually LOL. OL."

But in all seriousness, Apple also insists that recording voice messages will be as simple as touching and holding a new microphone button with your thumb, then swiping upward to send. At this point, however, the only visible applications Apple has showcased for voice messaging are depicted on its latest iPhones:

Apple stock, iWatch

Apple recently unveiled voice messaging for iOS 8, Credit: Apple.

Now don't get me wrong; Voice messaging seems like a solid value-add for Apple's iPhone users. But it still requires they pull the phone out of their pocket and speak into it. What better way for Apple to provide incremental convenience to consumers than by perfecting voice messaging on a more accessible wrist-worn device like the iWatch?

UBC analyst Steve Milunovich weighed in on the topic earlier this week after meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, and notably stated that Apple's voice messaging "could aid penetration of China, which Cook said has a ways to go." Specifically, Milunovich said when their conversation turned to the potential for voice messaging, Cook described a trip to China during which he observed many people already walking down the street speaking brief messages into their phones instead of texting.

It's a fairly safe bet that few people will be willing to tap out an entire text message on a tiny smartwatch display. And while voice-to-text is a viable alternative, it's an imperfect -- albeit improving -- solution prone to occasional inaccuracies. But if Apple can truly port an elegant solution to pioneer voice messages outside with its iWatch, it could be just the push consumers need to make the device a smashing success.

Apple isn't the only way to play the iWatch
If one thing seems sure, it's that the iWatch will come jam-packed with intriguing functionality. This is why some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million be sold per year. But there's another small company making Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Steve Symington owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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