Apple is apparently looking to a third-quarter launch for its much-anticipated iWatch, joining the increasingly competitive wearable device market.
According to reports originating from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, the device will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, with Apple looking at production of 65 million units by the end of 2014 – indicating the company is extremely bullish about a launch, if true.
Indeed, the 65 million number looks to be a mistranslation: Strategy Analytics said 1.9 million smart watches shipped in 2013 and, even taking into account growth in the market, it is unlikely any single vendor will be placing an order so much bigger.
The company is also said to have contracted TPK to supply flexible displays, with Samsung on-board to manage production of the Apple-designed processor. Separately, LG Display has also been identified as a possible screen supplier – and this company has some experience with curved displays.
Previous reports have suggested that the iWatch will feature biometric sensors to track a number of health-related statistics, including sleep and heart rate. A companion app is expected for iPhones.
There have been reports that Apple is planning to join the wearables race for a number of months, although none have come to fruition, and in the meantime a number of rivals such as Samsung, Sony, and LG Electronics have ramped-up their activities.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has repeatedly said the company is looking to move into new product categories, which has widely been seen as a reference to wearables – where it could leverage much of its existing strength.
“In terms of new product categories, specifically if you look at the skills that Apple has from hardware, software and services and at incredible app ecosystems, these sets of things are very, very unique,” the executive said last year.
The big questions is when such a device would be unveiled. While a debut alongside the next iPhone makes some sense, Apple may instead chose to begin the process at its Worldwide Developers Conference early in June 2014, in order to get developers on board for the launch.