With Wall Street souring on Apple during the last few months – and with no big product updates expected in the next few months – the company could use some buzz. In what could be a controlled leak, two outlets are adding fuel to the flame of iWatch rumors. They report that Apple plans to release the device later in 2013.

First was Bloomberg, with a report that the device could be more profitable than an (also rumored) Apple TV set, adding that the smartwatch could release in 2013. Then The Verge chimed in, saying its sources also point to a planned iWatch release later this year.

The second source added that the wearable gizmo would run a full version of iOS (as opposed to the modified version that runs on the iPod nano), and that it’s a pet project of Apple Senior VP of Industrial Design Jony Ive. Several years ago, he reportedly bought boxes of Nike sportswatches for his team to study.

One of the sources, however, suggests that Apple still has some work to do. Battery life reportedly isn’t where the company wants it to be, falling several days short of Apple’s goal of 4-5 days.

"Look! We're still innovating!"

Though it may not matter a great deal who leaked the information (provided it’s legit), this reeks of an Apple controlled leak. One of investors’ recent gripes about the company is its perceived decline in innovation under Tim Cook. With no iTV in sight – and the company’s stock price sinking – perhaps these leaks are Apple’s way of saying “Hey, look! We’re still innovating!”.

If that is the story behind these "anonymous" leaks, it’s an understandable strategy ... though perhaps a bit desperate.

Function?

The device is expected to extend iPhone functionality, displaying notifications, allowing for video chat and Siri input, while doubling as a pedometer and fitness tracker. We speculated that Apple could also use it to enable 3D gesture control for Macs, iPads, and Apple TV.

With the rumored iWatch – along with Pebble, I'm Watch, and Google Glass – wearable tech appears to be looming on the horizon. Whether any of them will have an iPhone/iPad-like impact on market and culture remains to be seen.

Sources: Bloomberg, The Verge