Be patient: analyst predicts no iWatch until November
Apple will not start mass production of the iWatch until November, one analyst has claimed.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities hasn’t quite thrown cold water on the rumoured early-autumn release, but you’ll have to be quick to get your hands on the hardware.
According to AppleInsider, which claims to have seen Kuo’s research note, production won’t have reached full capacity by the device’s predicted September or October release and only three million iWatches will be in use by the end of the year – about a third of what had previously been expected.
Production will ramp up in mid-to-late November for wider distribution in 2015.
Kuo bases his analysis on the fact that only a few suppliers have increased production so far, meaning the reported ten million unit target is unlikely to be met in the next three months.
He blames the narrowing of production on the number of “more advanced — and difficult to manufacture — parts and materials” that deviate from its “normal component cache”, according to AppleInsider.
These include a flexible AMOLED screen, sapphire crystal coated display, high waterproof standards and new system-on-a-chip components.
iPhone held back?
Kuo has also cast doubt on an autumn release of the larger, 5.5in iPhone 6.
Apple has been expected to launch two devices on or about 19 September, a 4.5in or 4.7in iPhone, and a 5.5in “iPhablet” – possibly called the iPhone Air.
However, Kuo reports problems with the touch panel and colouring of the phone could push back production to next year.
In a note seen by 9to5mac, Kuo said: “These problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size. In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term.”
“We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units,” he added.