Could Apple be working on a fitness tracker to take on Fitbit? If rumors are to be believed, the device, two years in the making, will be unveiled in 2017, and will be able to track steps, heart rate, and even blood sugar, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News and AppleInsider.
The report claims that Apple has lined up several suppliers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Foxconn, TPK, and Zhen Ding Technology, and that the 3D touch sensor used in the iPhone 6s and upcoming iPhone 7 would factor heavily into its fitness device.
Apple has steadily been building its health and fitness features on both a hardware and software level, starting with HealthKit for iOS devices, followed by the optical heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch, and more recently, the CareKit and ResearchKit platforms for healthcare professionals and researchers.
The AppleInsider report also mentions that the 2017 iPhone will offer new health-sensing capabilities. iOS 10 will bring some short-term health features to existing iPhones, including a new interface that focuses on Activity, Nutrition, Mindfulness and Sleep.
Chances are, this new device would be completely different from the Apple Watch, which would make sense if you believe the other rumors that a second-gen Apple Watch will be announced in September of this year, and will include, among other things, GPS, a thinner design, and a higher-capacity battery.