Attention! Apple's next miracle is right around the corner

Here come rumors of an iWatch, just when you thought Apple was tapped out of original ideas. Cringely smells an iRat

Fear not, Apple fanboys, there is yet hope for more miraculous, life-changing iDevices to come. That news comes just in time to rescue Apple's plummeting stock price.

Yesterday, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is hard at work on a watch that will redefine wrist-borne timepieces for all time -- or so we are to believe.

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Per the NYT's Nick Bilton:

In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company's explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate on Apple's iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company's understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.

The WSJ's Jessica Levin adds:

Capabilities that Apple is exploring for wearable devices remain unclear. But analysts and investors who have been tracking the field predict the company would release a product with many different functions and that the device would work closely with the iPhone.

Apple has been exploring the area for some time, according to the people briefed on the effort, and has hired employees with backgrounds in sensors and related technologies in recent years.

Call me cynical, but I see the timing of these leaks as a might suspicious.

Remember, we've all just watched Apple's stock price nose dive from a high of just over $700 last September to today's sub-$500 price, spurred on mostly by a lot of blog-driven navel gazing over whether Tim Cook can recreate the Jobsian magic or if Apple has shot its iWad and is destined to become just another consumer electronics company.

There's nothing like a little rampant rumormongering to get the fanboys hyperventilating. If you can get there ahead of Google, even better.

The fact these rumors come straight out of Cupertino is kind of a giveaway. Nearly all Apple rumors tend to issue from analysts or sources close to its Far East manufacturing facilities -- like those alleged photos of the iPhone 5S that showed up earlier today -- and not Apple HQ.

Sure, the Cook Epoch is different than the Jobs Age, and perhaps leakers aren't tossed into the oubliette and forced to live out their days in a dungeon buried deep below One Infinite Loop, the way they used to be. But old habits die hard. Heck, even the people Apple pays to talk to the media don't talk to the media -- with the exception, of course, of Apple's "good friend" Walt Mossberg and frenemy David Pogue.

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