Pilot production of iWatch allegedly underway
Taiwanese supplier Quanta Computer will be producing both the iWatch and a larger iPad for Apple in 2014, DigiTimes claims. The iWatch is said to be shipping first, in the second calendar quarter. Pilot production of the watch is allegedly already underway, but suffering low yields, resulting in the Q2 timeframe. Quanta is said to be competing with Foxconn and Inventec for orders, although only the first two have been officially invited into the supply chain.
A smartwatch unstuck in time
If the tech analysts and manufacturers are to be believed, we sit on the cusp of a boon in wearable technology. With its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung has tried to get the jump on its competitors -- pushing out a powerful, feature-heavy smartphone companion while other devices focus on displaying notifications and showing what time it is. The Galaxy Gear has had a rough debut, but does the truth of the device lie somewhere between Samsung's marketing speak and the tech press' takes on it? Find out in our in-depth review.
Design would be unusual accommodation for Apple
Apple intends to build two different sizes of iWatch to suit both men and women, claims NPD DisplaySearch's David Hsieh. The analyst cites Apple sources, who indicate that men will be targeted with a 1.7-inch OLED, while women will get a 1.3-inch OLED. Hsieh's comments are featured in the Korea Herald, which on its own claims that the iWatch could ship as soon as this year; that's extremely unlikely however, as it's already mid-November and Apple always finishes its major product launches before Thanksgiving. Something as important as the iWatch would moreover demand a press event.
Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV negating need for full-scale TV set
Apple is no longer planning to ship a dedicated TV set in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. The firm quotes sources in the TV supply chain industry, who add that one of the main obstacles is the company's inability to secure deals for proprietary content. While Apple is potentially an attractive partner, earlier reports have suggested that TV networks are reluctant to risk the lucrative deals they have with cable and satellite companies, which typically bundle channels into packages.
Could even suggest switch from Gorilla Glass to sapphire
GT Advanced Technologies -- Apple's new sapphire production partner -- is planning to make sapphire the majority of its business thanks to the deal, an earnings call reveals. Year-to-date, GT's sapphire business has only accounted for 11 percent of its sales. In forecasting 2014 revenue, though, the company says it expects that 80 percent of $600 million to $800 million in revenue will come from sapphire, a dramatic shift in its strategy.
Talks with Samsung were 'not productive'
LG Display is nearing a deal to provide OLED displays for Apple's iWatch, according to a Korean report. The Korea Herald adds that a RITEK subsidiary, RiTdisplay, will also be supplying OLEDs. HMC Investment Securities analyst Kim Young-woo in fact characterizes RiTdisplay as the main supplier, with LG serving as a secondary partner "to be safe." Left out of the equation is Samsung, which is reported to have met with Apple regarding iWatch screens but made no progress in negotiations.
Display could measure up to 1.5 inches
Apple is testing at least three iWatch designs based around flexible OLED displays, according to Korean publication The Chosun Ilbo. These include units with 1.3-, 1.4-, and 1.5-inch displays. The largest of those sizes would still be a tenth of an inch smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Director expected to help tackle iWatch project
Apple has recruited Ben Shaffer, formerly the studio director for Nike's Innovation Kitchen, a source says. The Innovation Kitchen is Nike's research and development department, the birthplace of products like the FuelBand wrist tracker and the lightweight Flyknit shoe. What Shaffer might be doing at Apple is unstated, but based on his background it's speculated that he may have been brought on for Apple's alleged iWatch project and/or future wearable technologies.
Inventec, Quantec identified as manufacturers
The Apple iWatch is allegedly facing major yield rate problems in its supply chain, according to Taiwanese industry sources. The people suggest that the chain is currently only able to supply 30 to 40 percent of the order volumes Apple has been hoping for. The product's manufacturers -- at a ratio of 6:4 -- are thought to be Inventec and Quanta Computer. Expectations are that the iWatch will ship in the second half of 2014, at a price of about $149 to $229.
May be related to low-power tech needed for iWatch
Apple has confirmed a buyout of Silicon Valley firm Passif Semiconductor, according to AllThingsD. News of the deal first emerged from former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin. Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette has refused to offer any more details on the acquisition, such as cost or the intent behind it.
Could be devoting more effort to iWatch project
Bob Mansfield's departure from the Apple executive team was made at his request so he could focus on new products, without being distracted by work on the executive committee, an anonymous source tells Bloomberg. Prior to this week, Mansfield was the company's senior VP of Technologies. He is now involved solely with "special projects," though what that means hasn't been identified officially or by sources.
Thought to be long-rumored iWatch
Apple has started assembling a team of people specializing in fitness, medical sensors, manufacturing, and hardware and software engineering in order to produce a fitness-focused wearable computer chock full of sensor technology, sources say. Apple is stated to have experimented with a number of designs in the past, including ones that could clip onto clothing, like an iPod shuffle. Currently though the company is thought to have returned to a wrist-wrapped device, likely the iWatch.
Sony SmartWatch 2 coming September 9, packs NFC, larger display
The Sony SmartWatch 2 has been confirmed for a September 9 launch after some confusion that it might have been due for a July 15 launch. When it was revealed in June, Sony informed the press that the device would reach customers in September and it appears the company will meet its launch window. While Sony is on to its second-generation smartwatch, Apple’s rumoured smartwatch appears as though it won’t reach the market until late 2014 as the company grapples with the technology that it plans to pack into the device.
Apple on hiring spree to bring rumored iWatch to market
Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Financial Times claims (reg. req.) that Apple may not introduce the much hyped, but rumored, iWatch device until late in 2014. According to sources, Apple is hiring "aggressively" to pick up the expertise it requires to solve a range of technical challenges. Apple is said to be facing "hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve," suggesting that whatever it has in the pipeline might be more sophisticated than other similar solutions already on the market.
Name is trademarked, in some cases already associated with shipping products
After reports of Apple's trademarking of the term "iWatch" in a number of countries, it has been discovered that the name has already been trademarked for some time in the US, the UK and, in what could be a troubling development, China. In fact, China has previously trademarked both the term "iWatch" and "iWatching," reports Chinese news journal Sina Tech. In the US, a company that was trying to raise funds to manufacture a smartwatch (but was unsuccessful) already trademarked the name, while the UK trademark is used for a monitoring smartphone app.
May all but confirm name of upcoming smartwatch
(Update: Also applied for in Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey) Apple has applied for an "iWatch" trademark at the Japan Patent Office, according to Bloomberg. The filing was originally made on June 3, but appears to have been made public just last week. The Japanese trademark application follows ones reportedly made in Russia and Jamaica, the latter dating back to December 2012.
Status of trademark still unsure
Apple has filed to register the "iWatch" product name in Russia, says local news site Izvestia.ru. The application is said to have been made under the 9th and 14th classes for the International Classification of Goods and Services. AppleInsider comments, though, that it hasn't been able to verify the registration through the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property.
iWatch could replace iPhone if Apple solves battery problem
The recent media trend of negative news on Apple is just a phase that will pass according to analyst Gene Munster and pundit MG Siegler, both of whom agree that the coming months will see Apple getting its groove back with a refresh in its product lines, as well as perhaps some new products. Siegler and Munster spoke on a panel along with TUAW's editor-in-chief, Victor Agreda, with all parties agreeing that Apple's sales figures fly in the face of the negative coverage the company has been receiving of late. Part of the problem, Siegler contended, was the considerable success the company has achieved over the past few years.