London - They brought you the iPad, the iPod and the iPhone. Now prepare yourself for Apple’s next big thing – the iWatch.

According to reports in China, where Apple manufactures most of its products, the ‘”smartwatch” is set to go on sale next summer.

The watch will reportedly have a one-and-a-half-inch LED screen and allow users to send and receive emails, texts and Facebook alerts as well as communicating with other devices wirelessly though Bluetooth.

Apple is also working on adding a tiny speaker and microphone to enhance the iWatch’s capabilities.

It is believed the iWatch will run a version of iOS, the same software as the iPhone and iPad, allowing apps to be easily downloaded.

The iWatch release comes as Apple goes head to head in the technology stakes with Google, which says it will release Google Glass, a headset with a screen, next year.

The iWatch is not the first time a so-called smartwatch has been developed. Microsoft famously ended its development in 2008, while Sony recently released a smartwatch design which received mixed reviews.

A similar gadget called the Pebble – which links to a wearer’s mobile phone – has also been unveiled. The Pebble E-Paper Watch features a 1.26-inch, 144x168 pixel monochrome display with a backlight.

One reviewer noted: “Pebble is a hands-free solution to determine why your pocket is vibrating, without having to dig out your phone.”

It comes with apps installed, including a cycling app to measure speed, distance and pace, and a golf range-finder app that covers more than 25,000 golf courses. - Daily Mail