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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple "iWatch" mass production pushed back to November [u]

post #1 of 64
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Industry consensus holds that Apple's so-called "iWatch" will see manufacture in September ahead of wide distribution in December, but one well-connected analyst believes mass production is to be pushed back to November, meaning only small quantities will be available at launch.

iWatchiWatch concept by Todd Hamilton


In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iWatch represents a new level of difficulty for Apple in regard to both hardware and software development. Because of the new challenges, Kuo believes current consensus on Apple's iWatch production and distribution schedule is incorrect.

Kuo estimates Apple will push back mass production to mid- or late-November, one month later than previous models claiming large-scale manufacturing would start in late-September. With only a few supplier ramping up ahead of an anticipated October release, supplies of the wearable will be constrained and are unlikely to meet market expectations of 10 million shipped units by the end of 2014. Instead, Kuo says about 3 million iWatches will be in the wild by year's end.

On the hardware side of things, the analyst notes Apple is deviating from its normal component cache to more advanced -- and difficult to manufacture -- parts and materials.

For example, the iWatch is thought to sport a flexible AMOLED display complete with sapphire cover glass. Apple has never deployed an OLED display in a consumer product, nor has the company fielded a product with such a large sapphire glass installation. So far, the largest sapphire part in any iOS device has been the protective Touch ID covering seen on the iPhone 5s. Recent rumors claim the iWatch will use a "slightly rectangular" 2.5-inch display.

In addition, new system-in-package (SiP) processes will be used to shrink down operational circuitry to wristwatch sizes, which complicates matters since Apple is looking to meet high waterproofing standards. Not mentioned in the report are other rumored features like wireless charging that could add to the device's already complicated build.

As for software, Kuo believes the main challenge is redesigning iOS to fit on a smaller screen while maintaining interoperability with larger devices like the iPhone and iPad. Apple is well known for its stellar hardware and software vertical, though iWatch UI refinement could present a problem as the form factor is completely new and doesn't have the benefit of being on the market for years.

Update: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated Apple's iWatch would debut in October, not the actual estimation of December. The article has been updated to reflect the correct information.
post #2 of 64
Kuo's comment about iOS UI rings especially hollow.
post #3 of 64
A year and a half ago tCook was talking like iWatch could have a mid year debut. They're walking the razor' sedge on this. I don't fault them a bit. Make it great. I'd be disappointed, but I'd wait another year or two if I had to to get the device that's being rumored. Another few weeks is nothing.
post #4 of 64
So, the unannounced imaginary product also had an imaginary ship date that Apple can't hit?

Well, excuse me while I have an imaginary fit over it... !
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #5 of 64
So does he have insider information he is basing this on or is he just guessing?
post #6 of 64

It is unlikely Kuo has access to insider information since he is often wrong. He is merely speculating, working off of supply chain rumors (which is a risky platform from which to base predictions).

 

By contrast, it appears that writer Jim Dalrymple is being fed information from Apple PR, but only extremely sanitized and trivial bits, things like the dates of upcoming announcements, but not actual product specifications. Note that Jim doesn't really make any prognostications, he mostly replies "yup" or "nope" to highly specific, very narrow questions from others. Jim does not pre-offer his "special" insight.

 

It would be highly unlikely that Apple would feed any analyst pre-release information. Any analyst getting real insider information would have highly suspicious investment behavior and an inexplicably great ROI, something that would attract the attention of the SEC for the analyst in question as well as Apple itself.

 

There is no third-party Apple-related information source that stands head-and-shoulders above his/her peers. Again, that would be highly suspicious. By in large, everyone has middling to poor prediction track records.

 

What we do know is that some analysts definitely do not have any insight whatsoever: Munster, Wu, Huberty are three analysts who come into mind. Also Gartner, IDG, and good ol' Enderle. They are so frequently completely off base that one can pretty much bet the opposite of what they say will end up being true.

 

Same goes with tech media: Digitimes has shown stunning inaccuracy in their Apple predictions. BGR and 9to5Mac also have laughably bad track records.


Edited by mpantone - 7/10/14 at 7:42pm
post #7 of 64
I think what some are missing is that he's saying a grand production of devices won't happen until later in the year. Think gold iPhone 5s. It still launched on target (though, yes, the 'iWatch' has no official target date) although in very limited quantities. The scarcity may be similar for this device. For it to be a part of this amazing pipeline it has to be released at some point.
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post #8 of 64
It might make sense if Apple is using new custom system in package modules. Yields are lower because if one component of a circuit package is defective, the whole SIP is useless.
post #9 of 64
Who is gonna care these bullshit ? Again and again ?
post #10 of 64

I guess that failing to meet a fictitious "consensus" deadline on an unannounced product is, to Wall St, a fail by Apple. Hmmm.

post #11 of 64
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Industry consensus holds that Apple’s so-called “iWatch” will see manufacture...

 

Which proves it isn’t happening.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #12 of 64

It's called tanking the stock.

post #13 of 64
I'm sorry but this is not breaking news AI. 1oyvey.gif
post #14 of 64

AI often does not post news. This is a "breaking" rumor, not a news item.

 

In any case, AI essentially doesn't really care if it's news or rumor. They just want page views.

 

Accuracy and accountability by information sources is completely irrelevant here. Heck, it would be no different if AI started posting World Cup match result predictions.

post #15 of 64
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Originally Posted by Danox View Post

It's called tanking the stock.

If it's supposedly launching one or two months after the iPhone 6, shouldn't we have seen some type of leaked part by now? Especially with all the leaked info on the iPhone 6?

If there even is an "iWatch" then apparently all of the parts are contained within Apple or the new MacPro plant (apparently they don't leak info). If it does launch by the end of the year then I hope I never see the sarcastic 'double down on security' comments again.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

BGR and 9to5Mac also have laughably bad track records.

actually 9to5's track record is almost perfect when it comes to their own stories, and not circulated rumors. there was a third party article counting them up and checking.
post #17 of 64
The iPod Nano display, more than slightly rectangular, would make an excellent iWatch display form factor, if curved to wrap slightly with the curvature of a wrist and if presented with near zero bezel on all sides. And, surprise, it's exactly 2.5". Plus, the simplified touch interface needed for an iWatch has already been in use on this device for two years. No pinch to zoom, etc, but touching and swiping and scrolling is all there. Everything needed to run iOS apps, just no resizing.
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post #18 of 64
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Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post

actually 9to5's track record is almost perfect when it comes to their own stories, and not circulated rumors. there was a third party article counting them up and checking.

Does that include the contributor who complains that Apple changes their UI for apps because they didn't want it to look like his pre-release mock ups?
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post

actually 9to5's track record is almost perfect when it comes to their own stories, and not circulated rumors. there was a third party article counting them up and checking.

Please provide references on 9to5Mac's "almost perfect" track record. If that is the truly the case, I don't know why anyone interested in Apple should be reading anything but them.

 

We look forward to your data disclosure.

post #20 of 64
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So does he have insider information he is basing this on or is he just guessing?

I am sure someone at Apple is instructed to sit at a park bench and feeds him bird seeds here and there. Tidbits with just enough vagueness for him to blab about and sense the reaction.
post #21 of 64
In my opinion Apple should launch this Q1 or Q2 2015. They have enough to keep themselves and consumers busy this fall, no point biting off more than they can chew, or blowing their whole load within a couple months. Leave the iWatch till later to give it room in the spotlight and make sure people didn't just spend all their money on other Apple products.
post #22 of 64
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Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post

Does that include the contributor who complains that Apple changes their UI for apps because they didn't want it to look like his pre-release mock ups?
Hehe Gurman took a lot of crap for writing that article. Even John Gruber took him to task over it. But hey this is the same guy who still claims Ben Shaffer worked on the Nike FuelBand while at Nike even though Fast Company talked to Nike employees who said otherwise. I think it would take a lot for Gurman to admit he ever got something wrong or published a bad rumor.
post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Hehe Gurman took a lot of crap for writing that article. Even John Gruber took him to task over it. But hey this is the same guy who still claims Ben Shaffer worked on the Nike FuelBand while at Nike even though Fast Company talked to Nike employees who said otherwise. I think it would take a lot for Gurman to admit he ever got something wrong or published a bad rumor.

Yea, I've seen contributors here that would never admit they were wrong either. I've even seen them post "Corrections" so they can stay in the same state of denial as Gurman.

Although I do appreciate the detailed factual backup that rebuts negative P.R. statements made against Apple.
Edited by Silver Shadow - 7/10/14 at 8:47pm
post #24 of 64
Can someone who has a good grasp on these rumors explain what is the big deal with the iWatch? I could see maybe if it was a stand alone phone with hotspot ability for other devices but then it would be huge because of the battery. Likely not much room for music or apps with how much room for storage.

I'm well aware that Apple hasn't announced anything but as far as Apple rumors go I can't see any reason to get excited about much yet.
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInSD View Post

Can someone who has a good grasp on these rumors explain what is the big deal with the iWatch? I could see maybe if it was a stand alone phone with hotspot ability for other devices but then it would be huge because of the battery. Likely not much room for music or apps with how much room for storage.

I'm well aware that Apple hasn't announced anything but as far as Apple rumors go I can't see any reason to get excited about much yet.

Based on rumors only, not much to get excited about unless you have O.C.D. tendencies.

Most people stopped wearing watches somewhere around 10 years ago. Originally, a watch gave you one vital piece of information unless you were either young or retired. Now even the young and retired have that info on their phone, which they have with them all the time. In years past you could get through a day or a week without a watch as long as you had your wallet. Nowadays, you could probably get through a week without your wallet as long as you have your phone which tells the time. It's going to take something fantastic and perhaps even "Magical" to get more than a small amount of people to put one back on. For the younger generation, who have most likely never worn a watch, it may take more than that.
Edited by Silver Shadow - 7/10/14 at 9:06pm
post #26 of 64

And especially if one has O.C.D. tendencies, one should make a concerned effort to refrain from getting excited.

post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post

Based on rumors only, not much to get excited about unless you have O.C.D. tendencies.

No O.C.D., but I do like hearing about tech and new gadgets. Plus if it's something really interesting to start saving up for it. I'll admit that I used to be really intrigued by an Inspector Gadget style watch but over the last few years of having an iPhone I couldn't see myself having anything on my wrist again. There's probably a better form factor eventually for a phone but a watch and Google Glass aren't it.
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInSD View Post

No O.C.D., but I do like hearing about tech and new gadgets. Plus if it's something really interesting to start saving up for it. I'll admit that I used to be really intrigued by an Inspector Gadget style watch but over the last few years of having an iPhone I couldn't see myself having anything on my wrist again. There's probably a better form factor eventually for a phone but a watch and Google Glass aren't it.

My own personal opinion is that the iWatch is a great white whale. It's a planted rumor to distract the competition. ...and it worked beautifully!

However, if anyone is going to make you want to put something on your wrist for a purpose other than decoration Apple will probably be the one to do it. All I have to do is look at my old Blackberry phone to see how ridiculous an old 'must have' seems to me now.

So far Apple has shown how to take existing tech, an existing fad, and leap frog it to the point of WOW. Watches died. They're dead. I may have to eat my words, but I don't see them trying to revive something on the way out.

Computers (an emerging tech) - Apple pretty much made them available to the masses.

MP3 players (an emerging tech) - Apple made them better than anyone else.

Cell phones (an emerging tech) - Apple made them better than anyone could conceive.

Tablets (an emerging tech) - Apple showed how they should be made and in the process leap frogged anything that was produced before their endeavor.

Watches (a very old tech) - there's plenty of people who could make one better than Apple, but most people rely on those same people to have the correct time on their phone.

The iWatch, if it's even a true concept, is something no one has even thought of yet and the rumors are just a pale glimmer of what it will be. ...or it will never exist.
post #29 of 64
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post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post

MP3 players (an emerging tech) - Apple made them better than anyone else.

Cell phones (an emerging tech) - Apple made them better than anyone could conceive.

Tablets (an emerging tech) - Apple showed how they should be made and in the process leap frogged anything that was produced before their endeavor.

Watches (a very old tech) - there's plenty of people who could make one better than Apple, but most people rely on those same people to have the correct time on their phone.

The iWatch, if it's even a true concept, is something no one has even thought of yet and the rumors are just a pale glimmer of what it will be. ...or it will never exist.

MP3 players are just portable music players. These existed as transistor radios even before Apple was a company.

Cell phones and smartphones existed well before Apple released the iPhone. Same for the tablet. The rumoured iWatch is not any more "a very old tech" than any of those items that are doing something different with a general form factor.

Wearables are coming and will be a huge market. I doubt Apple will ignore it.

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post #31 of 64

Lots of intelligent comments in that article. To me, this does seem like the hardest thing Apple has ever had to figure out because of the apparel/jewelry/fashion aspect that will need more attention than simply making a quality CE. I hope we're finally ready for wearables but like the smartphone and tablet market Apple may not strike for many years.

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post #32 of 64


Just did a bit of research, now this is pretty interesting and makes a lot more sense. http://mobihealthnews.com/28349/apple-patents-seamless-heart-rate-sensor-for-authentication-personalization/

 

Apparently, while the photo in the patent is of an iPhone, the iWatch is supposed to have biometric sensors built in, right? I could see this as being a huge deal if you could access all your Apple devices by having your iWatch authenticate you through your heart rate and when you're in proximity of your devices it logs you in and you start using right away. 

 

Not sure why AppleInsider didn't post something about this, or maybe I missed it, but this makes sense. Not an amazing stand alone device but enhances their entire product line.

post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

MP3 players are just portable music players. These existed as transistor radios even before Apple was a company.

Cell phones and smartphones existed well before Apple released the iPhone. Same for the tablet. The rumoured iWatch is not any more "a very old tech" than any of those items that are doing something different with a general form factor.

Wearables are coming and will be a huge market. I doubt Apple will ignore it.

Yes indeed.

I had one of the first portable music players. Apple got into the portable music players when they went digital and it was still an emerging market. It is slowly dying out now because of current cell phones. That is no longer an emerging market and we can see the evidence of that now.

"Cell phones" have been around for a while. My father had one of the first brief case models, so I do understand that. However when Apple got in the market it was still an emerging market.

I used one of the first MS tablets. I know they've been around and stated that. It was, and still is an emerging market. Even more than the last two.

A watch is very old tech. I'm surprised your debating that.

I didn't say anything about "wearables" other than the fact that it's going to take something extremely impressive to make someone want to actually wear something. I do doubt that it will have the word "watch" in the name.
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post

A watch is very old tech. I'm surprised your debating that.

I'm not debating that.
Quote:
I didn't say anything about "wearables" other than the fact that it's going to take something extremely impressive to make someone want to actually wear something. I do doubt that it will have the word "watch" in the name.

You did. You mentioned a watch which implies a wrist-worn device.

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post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm not debating that.
You did. You mentioned a watch which implies a wrist-worn device.

For heavens sake my friend, it's tough to decide when to be specific. I was referring to the alleged future product by the alleged, rumored name which at this point everyone on Earth seems to know by the rumored name.
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInSD View Post


Just did a bit of research, now this is pretty interesting and makes a lot more sense. http://mobihealthnews.com/28349/apple-patents-seamless-heart-rate-sensor-for-authentication-personalization/

Apparently, while the photo in the patent is of an iPhone, the iWatch is supposed to have biometric sensors built in, right? I could see this as being a huge deal if you could access all your Apple devices by having your iWatch authenticate you through your heart rate and when you're in proximity of your devices it logs you in and you start using right away. 

Not sure why AppleInsider didn't post something about this, or maybe I missed it, but this makes sense. Not an amazing stand alone device but enhances their entire product line.

So far every mainstream product Apple has released has been something that reaches out beyond their current ecosystem. You didn't need a Mac to use itunes which was a large profit generator. You didn't need a Mac or any other Apple product to use an iPod (large profit generator). You didn't need a Mac to use an iPhone, and the same is true with the iPad.

While I think they would add a couple of nice features built in if you did use their ecosystem, I don't believe it will be a major selling point for their next mainstream product. That seems to be the lesson Steve brought back to Apple. It will probably function perfectly well without owning a separate Apple device that you may not own.
post #37 of 64


Wasn't saying that iWatch would be required for usage but maybe instead of putting the finger sensor on all Apple devices, as I've seen rumored in the past, then this could could be used instead. Be used for quicker and more secure access.

post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInSD View Post


Wasn't saying that iWatch would be required for usage but maybe instead of putting the finger sensor on all Apple devices, as I've seen rumored in the past, then this could could be used instead. Be used for quicker and more secure access.

Myself being largely invested in their ecosystem I agree. I just don't see it as a proper business model to make their device dependent on owning another of their devices. Looking at their track record, I think they agree. It's awesome when you have invested in their ecosystem, however I know far too many people who only own one Apple device if one at all. Making it depend on owning another Apple device is bad business 101.

As bad as iOS and OSX fragmentation is, (I know it's no where near as bad as android before you jump down my throat). I'm not sure what the next device will bring but they can't make a device that's dependent on one of their others. Where do they draw the line?... A4, A5, A6? iOS4, iOS5, iOS6?
post #39 of 64
November!?!?
Does this mean Apple is doomed?
All over again?

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post #40 of 64

I read recently that one of the alleged 10 sensors on the iWatch will be a sweat monitor! It can allegedly tell a lot of personal things about you, but to interpret the data you need some wizardry on the unit.

 

And with perfect synergy of HealthKit and HomeKit, a snarky Siri will say 'You need a bath! I have just turned on the water heater at home. The water will be your preferred temperature when you get home in 20 minutes, since I see traffic is a bit on the heavy side on the way'.

And then your iWatch squirts a deodorant on you...

 

 

Seriously though, I really want a health-related hardware product from Apple. I am reaching an age where keeping track of things like Blood Glucose levels and activity is required!

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