Apple Opens Secret Lab For Brands To Tweak Apple Watch Apps

Apple has given partner brands early access to the smartwatch hardware and software so they can test their apps hands-on.

BMW and Facebook are among the brands that have reportedly been given access to a private lab within Apple’s headquarters, where they can refine their apps for the Apple Watch before the device’s launch. Companies have spent weeks at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, working hands-on with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune applications that will debut alongside the device next month.

Apple Watch Secret Lab

It is claimed that Apple is developing the Watch in a lab that is shut off from communication with the outside world. Internet access was blocked inside the rooms and visitors cannot bring any outside materials to the lab with the test watches. To prevent its partners from leaking information, Apple was storing the code and sending it to the companies closer to the watch’s introduction date.

The tools under development give a glimpse of how Apple Watch can be used. There will be several fitness-tracking apps to take advantage of the watch’s ability to measure movement.

Optimism over Apple’s new products, including the Apple Watch, has helped send the company’s shares to record highs in recent weeks. Sales of the new device in the first fiscal year may reach almost 14 million, according to the average estimates of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Research firm Strategy Analytics projects Apple will take 55% of global smartwatch sales in 2015, when total shipments will surge to 28.1 million units from 4.6 million in 2014.

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