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Rumor: Apple Facing Issues Developing iWatch

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 27 comments

Don't expect to see Apple's iWatch until the back half of 2014.

Unnamed sources in the upstream supply chain in Taiwan claim that Apple's upcoming iWatch is suffering from low yield rate problems, meaning that many components are failing tests during manufacturing. Because of this, component suppliers are only able to provide 30 percent to 40 percent of their original order volumes.

Currently, Apple's wearable tech is slated to arrive in the second half of 2014, probably this time next year, if the company doesn't suffer any additional setbacks. However, Apple hasn't officially announced the device, so a specific release window is mere speculation at this point. Prices are also expected to be around $149 to $229, although that could change before the supposed fall 2014 launch.

The rumored Apple device is reportedly being built using powder metallurgy technology, and then processed by computer numerical control (CNC) equipment. Inventec and Quanta Computer are supposedly manufacturing the device, with the former handling 60 percent of the orders and the latter 40 percent.

Sources claim that Apple is shooting for a design that's not only thin and light, but elegant in appearance. However, this design is supposedly posing as a great challenge for not only chassis suppliers, but the component makers and process service providers.

The smartwatch sector is beginning to heat up, as Sony recently made available its second-generation SmartWatch (2), and Samsung just revealed its own Galaxy Gear device. Even Qualcomm is jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon with the upcoming release of its Toq wearable device.

Sources claim that many Taiwan device makers are trying to land related orders, including FIH Mobile, Compal Communications and Arima. These companies have established teams focused on reeling in smartphone orders from both established players and new entrants.

This most recent report indicates that the iWatch "delay" is more likely due to manufacturing problems than Apple biding its time as it watches competitors cough up solutions. Like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is undoubtedly ignoring everything its competitors are doing and developing innovative tech that will set the smartwatch standard for years to come.

Unnamed sources cried a similar low yield rate claim back in July, stating that the initial shipments of the just-revealed iPhone 5S will be in short supply due to low yield rates when producing the fingerprint scanning tech. Volume production of the sensor was expected to begin at the end of June or the beginning of July, but issues related to the yield rates delayed commercial production of the recognition chips and LCD driver ICs.

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  • 1 Hide
    TeraMedia , September 13, 2013 1:49 PM
    Quote:
    Like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is undoubtedly ignoring everything its competitors are doing and developing innovative tech that will set the smartwatch standard for years to come.
  • 3 Hide
    TeraMedia , September 13, 2013 1:49 PM
    Apple fan, are we?
  • 7 Hide
    brandonjclark , September 13, 2013 1:57 PM
    Pathetic bias. My lord, can we start licensing journalists yet?
  • 5 Hide
    MfastPrincess , September 13, 2013 2:05 PM
    Hm, I just can't jump on the apple bandwagon. I like being able to fix stuff myself :) 
  • 6 Hide
    edogawa , September 13, 2013 2:21 PM
    Like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is undoubtedly copying everything its competitors are doing and developing their own overpriced tech that will set the smart-watch standard for years to come down the drain with patent cases.


    Fixed your writing. Seriously though, the bias is pathetic. A journalist should be give an unbiased statement in their articles, this isn't mac-world.
  • 6 Hide
    funguseater , September 13, 2013 2:30 PM
    "Like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is undoubtedly ignoring everything its competitors are doing and developing innovative tech that will set the smartwatch standard for years to come."

    LOL and in other news today Kevin Parrish has been hired by Apple Marketing team.
  • -8 Hide
    robochump , September 13, 2013 2:44 PM
    Anything positive about Apple is obviously biased reporting....lol. Keep buying your foreign tech and I will stick to US tech.
  • -8 Hide
    robochump , September 13, 2013 2:47 PM
    Fixed this for you:

    Like the Galaxy and everything else, Scamsung is undoubtedly copying everything its competitors are doing and developing their own overpriced tech that will never set the smart-watch standard for years to come.

    Did we forget that the Galaxy Gear watch is $299 already? lol
  • 1 Hide
    iamadev , September 13, 2013 2:51 PM
    I'm glad that everyone else seems to have picked up on the one noteworthy part of this article. How anyone thought that comment was anything other than fanboi rhetoric is incredible.
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , September 13, 2013 3:44 PM
    Quote:
    Fixed this for you:

    Like the Galaxy and everything else, Scamsung is undoubtedly copying everything its competitors are doing and developing their own overpriced tech that will never set the smart-watch standard for years to come.

    Did we forget that the Galaxy Gear watch is $299 already? lol


    300 does seem like a lot(although my analogue watches are more than that), but this is a new tech trend growing, I would expect them to be a lot cheaper once they sell a lot. Gear watch does look really cool if used with a note 3 though.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 13, 2013 5:16 PM
    I think their main issue will be the same as everyone else who is making a smartwatch; they're a dumb idea, and the only reason anyone is working on them is because they've run out of phone hardware to tweak and market (because hardware currently far surpasses the services, and hardware manufacturers don't see much value in investing in services).

    Tech companies, please find better ways to take advantage of the phone/mobile hardware via better services. Stop wasting time and money on some smartphone watch accessory.
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , September 13, 2013 5:24 PM
    Quote:
    Anything positive about Apple is obviously biased reporting....lol. Keep buying your foreign tech and I will stick to US tech.


    You must have a lot of Samsung gear, then, because they're the ones having a fab building in the US (Texas). ROFL
    Whatever your Apple fanboi reasons might be, US-made tech can't be one of them. If you're so patriotic, buy Moto X.
  • -2 Hide
    ap3x , September 13, 2013 6:36 PM
    House70, lol. your hilarious bro. lol. You do realize that the Samsung's plant in Texas is their chip plant for the chips they manufacture for Apple right?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/12/20/samsung-expands-apples-texas-chip-plant-but-what-about-manufacturing-jobs/

    You know...besides Android, good happens to make a great search engine. I just thought that I would share that with you. Comes in handy sometimes.
  • 4 Hide
    Vladislaus , September 14, 2013 1:38 AM
    Quote:
    House70, lol. your hilarious bro. lol. You do realize that the Samsung's plant in Texas is their chip plant for the chips they manufacture for Apple right?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/12/20/samsung-expands-apples-texas-chip-plant-but-what-about-manufacturing-jobs/

    You know...besides Android, good happens to make a great search engine. I just thought that I would share that with you. Comes in handy sometimes.


    The Texas plant also makes other chips besides the Apple Ax! Still it's Samsung that's employing those people, not Apple.
  • 3 Hide
    echozero , September 14, 2013 2:52 AM
    Really~ .. so you mean Apple hasn't figure out how to put Ipod nano into a watch without people knowing it?

    I guess that make sense as apple probably don't want their stock price continue to drop.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , September 14, 2013 5:06 AM
    They should had made the iWatch round wit rectangular edges.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , September 14, 2013 7:30 AM
    Vladislaus, I know that bro. That is the point. Samsung makes a ton of different things but that plant is a chip plant. Apple happens to be their largest customer hence why the Forbe article states that they where expanding the plant.

    If you look at House70's post he makes the point that if you buy Samsung you are buying more US product which is not the case. Apple does not manufacture chips. They design and then companies like Samsung bid to for the manufacturing business.

    Using the logic in his post one could also say that by hating the iPhone they way most here seem to do you are also hating Samsung since Apple sources chips and other things from them.

    I personally don't understand why it matters so much. People like what they like for their own reasons. Get over it. Some of the brain power used in dissecting why one phone is better then the other could be used to do allot more productive things instead of trolling every time a semi positive article about a Apple device comes out.
  • 0 Hide
    none12345 , September 14, 2013 9:41 AM
    The whole smart watch idea is just stupid. Whats the point of having a few phone functions on my wrist. I still need to carry around the phone in my pocket. Why would i need the extra crap on my wrist that needs to be taken off and charged every day.

    All these companies seem to be doing is trying to figure out what shitty phone options they can shove into a watch and then call it innovate/amazing/must have. Its all old hat, and its a waste of time.

    Until the 'smart watch' can do something wicked cool that a phone cant, i wont even consider one. Like for instance project a holographic tactile display. When you have that, ill take a look at it.
  • 1 Hide
    edogawa , September 14, 2013 10:41 AM
    Quote:
    The whole smart watch idea is just stupid. Whats the point of having a few phone functions on my wrist. I still need to carry around the phone in my pocket. Why would i need the extra crap on my wrist that needs to be taken off and charged every day.

    All these companies seem to be doing is trying to figure out what shitty phone options they can shove into a watch and then call it innovate/amazing/must have. Its all old hat, and its a waste of time.

    Until the 'smart watch' can do something wicked cool that a phone cant, i wont even consider one. Like for instance project a holographic tactile display. When you have that, ill take a look at it.


    That's very narrow minded.

    -What was the point of having a few features on the first generations of smart phones?

    - You have to look into the future to how they will advance, this is only the beginning, technology has reached the point where we can start to have these type of devices. They will go down the same path as phones from basic features to having an OS with lots of capabilities. Point is that they have to start somewhere.
  • 0 Hide
    none12345 , September 14, 2013 12:13 PM
    I never said the same thing about cell phones as they were evolving. And really a cell phone didnt evolve into a smart phone. Calling it a phone now is pretty inaccurate, its just a pocket computer, that has phone software as one of its minor functions.

    There are 2 huge draw backs to a 'smart watch' that make it anything but smart. One being the insanely tiny screen. Unless you want go to a 6 inch wide bracelet this will always be true. But if you want to go to a 6 inch wide bracelet, well then you are just strapping a smart phone on your wrist. Which i dont necessarily have a problem with, if you want to curve the display on a current smart phone and strap it to your wrist go for it. Its not my cup of tea, but im not necessarily against it.

    The other problem that even strapping a smart phone to your wrist does not solve is limiting yourself to 1 hand interaction. Why would i ever want to downgrade from 2 hands to 1. Sure i dont have to hold it, but you are still limited to single handed input.

    It needs to do something revolutionary to justify its existence. Just porting more and more pocket computer features over time onto a wrist computer doesnt cut it. Really they dont need to port anything, just curve the screen and add a strap, its nothing revolutionary.

    Until it can project a display that you can interact with in a tactile manner, it makes very little sense. What im talking about is straight science fiction at this point. Sure we can project an image, and even interact with it, but there is no sense of touch. And without tactile sensation its never be all that useful. But something like that doesnt necessarily make sense as a watch, it would make more sense to be a wireless projector(with the device in your pocket, unless they can make it small enough to not need the extra piece in your pocket) you pin to your shirt for instance, so you could interact with 2 hands.

    If anyone really wants a wrist computer tho, they can just strap their smart phones onto their wrists right now. Only thing you dont have is a curved display. But start the trend, and mabye they will start making them curved for you! If this sounds stupid....then you probably dont want a smart watch. If this sounds great, then you probably do.

    At least something like google glass is trying to project information into your field of view, which is at least something new. The smart watches at this point are nothing novel, they are more of a joke then anything.

    If they at least had a 1 month battery life they wouldn't be such a joke. But so far ive seen smart watches with 2 hours, or 8 hours, or 10 hours battery life, and thats beyond laughable for a watch. Highest ive seen so far is 48 hours if you dont actually use it....
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