Respected analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo is back this morning with a fresh report claiming that Apple's iWatch production is set to kick off in November. Having initially predicted a September timeframe for production to begin, he now claims that the complexity of building the device and its software is pushing its expected arrival further back.
According to Kuo, the iWatch will feature a flexible AMOLED display coated in a curved sapphire glass. He also believes the device will be much thinner, much more durable and have higher waterproof standards than any other Apple product on the market. With Apple's typical attention to detail and perfectionism, it's not surprising that getting the hardware right is proving difficult. Software - likewise - is proving a struggle according to the KGI Securities analyst who claims that redesigning iOS to fit this form factor is difficult.
With a later-than-expected arrival, the iWatch shipment forecasts for 2014 have been dropped to "just" 3 million units. A number which I struggle to get my head around. To expect production to begin in November, and Apple to ship 3 million devices in a brand new category within the last month of the year is - quite frankly - unrealistic. As a comparison, the iPad - a well established and wanted product - sells around 15-20 million units each quarter. That's between 5-7 million per month. Considering how young, and relatively unknown, the smartwatch market is, it's foolish to expect even Apple to sell close to iPad numbers.
And that's not my only issue with the prediction. Apple doesn't use AMOLED for any of its current products. It's invested quite heavily in IPS LCD display technologies. On the other hand, they're not the best for daylight visibilty. And if smartwatches need to be anything, it's perfectly readable in daylight.
What do you think? WIll we even seen an iWatch this year, or will 2014 come and go with the product remaining a pipedream?