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Apple iWatch Hiring Ramps Up: What's It Mean? (Update 1)

Updated from 10:03 a.m. EDT with further analysis in the 12th paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The iWatch is such a big deal that when Apple (AAPL - Get Report) goes on a hiring spree for it the world stops and takes notice.

The Financial Times reported that Apple has been "aggressively" hiring for the smart watch in the past few weeks; the newspaper cited people close to the situation.

Apple couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Not only is Apple looking at hiring outside talent for the project, the FT also reported that Apple may look at acquiring other smaller companies that would help with the production of the iWatch.

Last month, Apple hired former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on special projects, and report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Many industry watchers took this as a sign it could be iWatch-related, since Deneve has experience in selling high-end accessories and clothing.

It's long been speculated that Apple would announce a wrist device to boost sales outside of the iPad and iPhone. Moving into other wearable technology is something new for Apple, which may be part of the reason Deneve was brought in and why the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is looking at smaller acquisitions to help with the product.

This comes as other technology companies are increasingly looking at wearable technology. Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Google (GOOG - Get Report), Samsung and others are thought to be working on their own smart watches. Nike (NKE) has been successful with its own SportWatch, but the industry is still ripe for innovation and disruption as people want their devices to do more.

Speculation surrounding the iWatch has been in overdrive recently, as the company has been filing patents around the world. CEO Cook has also fueled the fire, saying recently that wearable devices are something of interest. "The whole sensor field is going to explode," Cook said during the D11 technology conference with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. "It's a little all over the place right now. With the arc of time, it will become clearer."

Cook also noted that the wrist is particularly interesting. "The wrist is interesting," Apple's CEO said. "You still have to convince people it is worth wearing."
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