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Apple iWatch to Focus on Health: Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) reportedly is hard at work refining new battery power and health technologies for a new smartwatch to be introduced later this year.

According to The New York Times, Apple's upcoming wearable device, in addition to the way it looks, might differ from competitive smartwatch designs from Samsung and Pebble with the addition of new power source technologies.

Apple is reportedly testing inductive, solar and motion charging for its future iWatch (or whatever they choose to call it).

Apple stock was gaining nearly 1% to $505.23 in early morning trading in New York.

During inductive charging, already available for a number of recent smartphone designs, a device is placed on or near a charger platform/base which provides an electromagnetic field to transfer energy to the device's internal battery. Nokia (NOK) offers inductive charging technology for a number of its recent smartphones.

Solar charging, which converts sunlight (and artificial light) into charging energy, has been used in some electronic watch designs for decades. A form of motion charging, the conversion of kinetic energy into reserve power, has been used in "self-winding" watches for years.

The Times reported these new forms of powering future smartwatches could be years away.

Apple is also said to be in the process of developing new, high-tech battery designs for its iPhones, iPads and MacBook Air laptops to work in combination with new-generation processors to increase overall battery efficiency.

A smartwatch could be part of Apple's plan to focus the next version of its mobile operating system on a user's health and well-being. According to 9to5Mac, iOS 8 will also focus on fitness tracking and mobile health.

Apple is said to be developing a new mobile app codenamed "iHealthbook." According to the report, the software will be able to monitor and store a user's vital signs and fitness statistics (miles walked, calories burned) as well as help manage and track weight loss.

Late last year, Apple reportedly met with Food and Drug Administration officials regarding health application regulations.

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to tips@thestreet.com.

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