SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Apple already has a 100-people team working on a "Dick Tracy"-style wristwatch that has smartphone functions, according to U.S. media reports Tuesday.
The team's size, including managers, marketing chiefs and engineers previously working on the iPhone and iPad, suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in the project's development, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the company's plans.
The Bloomberg report came after reports from the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal over the weekend, saying Apple was experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass and which would perform some functions of a smartphone.
Bloomberg named James Foster, Apple's senior director of engineering, and Achim Pantfoerder, a program manager who is credited with 13 Apple patents, as two key members of the team.
According to research by Juniper Research, 2014 is expected to be the watershed year for the smart wearable devices with a market value of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Also on Tuesday, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook criticized a shareholder for creating a "silly sideshow" by filing a lawsuit to urge the company to issue preferred shares that pay a high dividend.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, Cook said Apple did not have a depression-era mentality for its 137.1 billion dollars in cash and would "thoroughly consider" the proposal of preferred shares.
Apple's stock has dropped more than 30 percent from its peak in September over the slowing demand for the iPhone and iPad. Its annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27.