Apple shares climb on iWatch product launch rumours

Apple: 2012 'mayday' campaign
Apple: 2012 'mayday' campaign

Apple's share price has jumped nearly 7% this week, reversing a downward trend amid speculation that the California technology giant is on the verge of its first new product launch since the iPad.

A trade mark application for the term "iWatch", which was filed with the Japan Patent Office on 3 June and went public last Thursday (27 June), sparked a 6.9% climb in Apple's shares, from $391.36 on Friday morning to $418.49 at yesterday's close.

The trademark application in itself is not conclusive evidence of an impending product launch and could simply be a defensive move to protect the name. However, it has been rumoured for some time that Apple is working on a new wearable technology product, believed to be a watch, which could launch in the autumn.

Meanwhile, yesterday's confirmation that former Saint Laurent (previously Yves Saint Laurent) chief executive Paul Deneve has been poached by Apple to work on "special projects" and report directly to chief executive Tim Cook has added further weight to the iWatch launch rumours.

Deneve, himself a former Apple marketer, has managed a series of companies in the luxury fashion industry since leaving Apple in 1997 and has been president of Saint Laurent since 2011.

Cook is a known fan of wearable technology having described the market, which is currently estimated at $800m (£500m), as "ripe for exploration". Furthermore, in reference to rival Google Glass, Cook has said that he sees the wrist as a more "natural" location for a wearable device.

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