updated 03:00 pm EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Precise ship date still a mystery
Apple suppliers have already begun small-scale production of the iWatch, claim supply chain sources for the China Times. It's said that Apple expects to launch the watch in the second half of 2014, but a more precise date isn't mentioned. It is however indicated that the device will use system-in-package chip design instead of printed circuit boards, saving space but potentially slowing down production. If a SIP component fails tests, the entire chipset has to be tossed out with it.
Three companies are reportedly producing the SIPs: Kinsus Interconnect, NanyaPCB, and ASE Group. It's forecast that about 2.5 to 3 million iWatches will be produced by the end of the current quarter. By the end of the next quarter, production will allegedly ramp up to 14 to 15 million units.
Apple may need SIPs to keep the iWatch comfortable while fitting in a large battery and an array of rumored health sensors. Other hardware details are largely unknown, although the iWatch is expected to integrate with the iPhone in functions like notifications.