Rumor: Quanta to build 65M Apple "iWatch" units in first year, Q3 2014 release expected

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2014
A suspect new report out of China claims to have a great deal of specifics on Apple's rumored "iWatch," namely that it will debut in the third quarter of this year and will include advanced sensors to detect a user's heart rate and blood pressure, among other things.

Android Wear concept
Motorola's Moto 360 Android Wear-powered smart watch | Source: Google


The sketchily specific details from China's Economic Daily News, reported on Tuesday, claim that the supply chain for the device was recently finalized. The report states that Taiwan's Quanta Computer has received an exclusive contract to build the device, with 65 million units expected to be built in the first year of availability.

The report goes on to say that the so-called "iWatch" will sport custom chips designed in-house by Apple but that some of them will be built at Samsung's foundry, suggesting the company will continue to rely on its fierce rival for silicon.

It's claimed that Foxconn and Inventec were also in the running for assembly orders with the rumored "iWatch," but Quanta secured the exclusive contract. Other Taiwanese companies are said to supply the main assembly, touchscreen controls, and some integrated circuit and printed circuit boards for the final product.

iWatch
iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton


The report also goes on to say that the glass screen on Apple's anticipated wrist-worn accessory will be made of sapphire. Apple late last year signed an exclusive deal with GT Advanced Technologies Inc. for supply of sapphire glass, a material already used by Apple to protect the cover of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, as well as the glass coating on the camera lens on the rear of the device.

As for Apple's rumored watch, another report this week suggested the company could include a UV light exposure sensor in the accessory. Its inclusion could warn users about sunburn or general concerns about sun exposure.

Apple has made a number of key hires in recent years related to health and fashion, suggesting to many that the company is working on a new wrist-worn device that could serve both functions as an advanced iPhone accessory. The wearables market has been an area of considerable interest for other technology companies -- including Samsung, Google, Sony and others -- all of which plan to release new wrist-based electronics this year.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member

    So when they underestimate the 1st get iPad they make so they don't do that again? You can't build 65M of anything until you know how well it will sell.

  • Reply 2 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    So when they underestimate the 1st get iPad they make so they don't do that again? You can't build 65M of anything until you know how well it will sell.
    All one can do is laugh at a rumor like this. The only way Apple would be building 65M of a wearable device is if it was being included with an iPhone. I highly doubt that is happening.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Apple is from California and they like to export that culture in their products. And many times that is a good thing, but there are some negative aspects to that culture such as obsession with body image and fad diets and plastic surgery.

     

    These obsessions all begin (as they logically must) with simply thinking about food and exercise too much. Instead of food just being the thing you use to keep you going (so you can get on with your main interests), it becomes the whole focus of your life. Instead of exercise being that simple walk to work in the morning, it becomes something you obsessively do for hours every day. This unhealthy amount of thought about one thing is the start of what ultimately becomes anorexia and/or obsesity.

     

    And what could cause people to think about food and exercise an unhealthy amount, more than having it on their wrist all day, spitting statistics about their body to them? I'm sure when Apple think about what this product will do they are hoping it will help with the obesity epidemic. But I worry about the ordinary young woman with a well balanced diet and regular exercise putting one on and developing an eating disorder.

  • Reply 4 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    All one can do is laugh at a rumor like this. The only way Apple would be building 65M of a wearable device is if it was being included with an iPhone. I highly doubt that is happening.

     

    This is my thought exactly...these insanely high predictions could only make sense if Apple was either giving it away, or charging some ridiculously low amount for it, and it would be considered an iPhone accessory that is available in store at launch.

     

    Think about that for a moment....If the iWatch were, say, $79. And it launched in September along side iPhone 6 as an accessory (for iOS 8 devices with Healthbook)...how many could they potentially sell? Probably....a LOT.

     

    65 million in the first 12 months is probably not a gross overestimate in that case.

  • Reply 5 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    Not to be that guy but Sapphire is not glass.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    pmz wrote: »
    This is my thought exactly...these insanely high predictions could only make sense if Apple was either giving it away, or charging some ridiculously low amount for it, and it would be considered an iPhone accessory that is available in store at launch.

    Think about that for a moment....If the iWatch were, say, $79. And it launched in September along side iPhone 6 as an accessory (for iOS 8 devices with Healthbook)...how many could they potentially sell? Probably....a LOT.

    65 million in the first 12 months is probably not a gross overestimate in that case.
    I'm curious what a device that cheap would actually do. Because we know Apple isn't going to sell any hardware at cost or for a loss.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    In a world where they sell 150 million iPhones this analyst thinks there's a market for upwards of half of that number for iWatches? I just don't see it. The iPad only sold about 10 mil that fist fisc year. Yeah it's a bigger device but with I believe bigger interest when it was debuted. I'm excited for what a potential iWatch could do but I don't think 65 million people are.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Hmm...interesting recent Apple job posting. I wonder what "new system platform" means?

    New System Platform Developer and Prototyping

    Job Number: 32838240San Francisco, California, United StatesPosted: Apr. 7, 2014Weekly Hours: 40.00
    Job Summary

    Apple's Input Devices group is looking for a multi-talented engineer to prototype and develop new system platform. The candidate will be spearheading initiatives to bring concepts to life with demos and prototypes. This includes designing the HW platform (collaborating with sensors and analog designer in the team), developing FW and providing host driver for SW developers to interact. Candidate will further collaborate with UI SW developers to eventually bring the end-end HW-SW demo to life.

    Key Qualifications

    Candidate is required to have deep understanding of various micro-controllers and FPGA architecture and to be able to pick the best platform for the job.
    Strong prototyping experience in HW/FW is required. This includes schematic capture, board layout, board bring up, FW bring up and testing.
    Description

    Experience in different sensor fusion, filtering, smoothing and calibration algorithm is strongly desired.

    Education

    Masters or higher degree in Electrical Engineering or similar discipline with focus on analog/mixed circuit designs.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    gtbuzzgtbuzz Posts: 129member
    undefined
  • Reply 10 of 38
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    This is just the prelude to the "Apple cuts iwatch orders" stories in a few months.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Not to be that guy but Sapphire is not glass.

    I am that guy, but usually keep quiet. You're right, sapphire isn't glass, but it isn't capitalized either. Is it capitalized in German?
  • Reply 12 of 38
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Hmm...interesting recent Apple job posting. I wonder what "new system platform" means?

    New System Platform Developer and Prototyping

    Job Number: 32838240San Francisco, California, United StatesPosted: Apr. 7, 2014Weekly Hours: 40.00
    Job Summary

    Apple's Input Devices group is looking for a multi-talented engineer to prototype and develop new system platform. The candidate will be spearheading initiatives to bring concepts to life with demos and prototypes. This includes designing the HW platform (collaborating with sensors and analog designer in the team), developing FW and providing host driver for SW developers to interact. Candidate will further collaborate with UI SW developers to eventually bring the end-end HW-SW demo to life.

    Key Qualifications

    Candidate is required to have deep understanding of various micro-controllers and FPGA architecture and to be able to pick the best platform for the job.
    Strong prototyping experience in HW/FW is required. This includes schematic capture, board layout, board bring up, FW bring up and testing.
    Description

    Experience in different sensor fusion, filtering, smoothing and calibration algorithm is strongly desired.

    Education

    Masters or higher degree in Electrical Engineering or similar discipline with focus on analog/mixed circuit designs.

    Good catch, but this is probably just Tim Cook pretending they're working on new categories. /s
  • Reply 13 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    I'm curious what a device that cheap would actually do. Because we know Apple isn't going to sell any hardware at cost or for a loss.

    That's the 65 million dollar question. Do they go cheap and make the iWatch a glorified fitness band? Or is it a full blown smart watch, the tech for which would have to drive the price up into the hundreds of dollars.

     

    I personally don't see it selling well, no matter what it can do, if its a $199 or $299 iPhone accessory.

  • Reply 14 of 38
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rogifan wrote: »
    All one can do is laugh at a rumor like this. The only way Apple would be building 65M of a wearable device is if it was being included with an iPhone. I highly doubt that is happening.

    I have to agree with this. As great as it would be for Apple to be so confident that they decide before the first sale to make 65 MM units the first year it just seems unreasonable a risk to take and highly unlikely that Apple could be so confident. That said, I hope we're wrong.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    flaneur wrote: »
    I am that guy, but usually keep quiet. You're right, sapphire isn't glass, but it isn't capitalized either. Is it capitalized in German?

    I don't know about German, but isn't Sapphire a proper noun? That is the name of a specific material?
  • Reply 16 of 38
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    pmz wrote: »
    That's the 65 million dollar question. Do they go cheap and make the iWatch a glorified fitness band? Or is it a full blown smart watch, the tech for which would have to drive the price up into the hundreds of dollars.

    I personally don't see it selling well, no matter what it can do, if its a $199 or $299 iPhone accessory.

    I predict this market to be like the tablet market. You have the bulk of the pre-iPad market being Archos and other very portable but limited tablet-like devices. These are the fitness bands. They are cheaper than their "smart" counterparts and are designed for limited tasks. For Archos is was entertainment and fitness bands it was, well, fitness. The other end were these smart-er devices. With tablets it was shoehorning a full desktop OS into a laptop with a touchscreen (see any number of WinTablets and ModBook) but with "smart" watches it's trying to replicate features of a smartphone.

    When Apple releases a wearable they won't call it a smartwatch or brand it smart-anything. I think it will be an accessory device for your iPhone. I think it will somewhere between a fitness band and smartwatch in capability and excel in the capabilities it does have… like the iPad.

    Note that only this year we finally started seeing smartwatches that appear to follow that trend. This, too, is like the tablet market right before Apple announced the iPad when Android-based tablets riddled CES. More the right track for a mobile device but still not optimized well for the HW and interface.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I have to agree with this. As great as it would be for Apple to be so confident that they decide before the first sale to make 65 MM units the first year it just seems unreasonable a risk to take and highly unlikely that Apple could be so confident. That said, I hope we're wrong.

    There is however a considerable difference between building a line suitable for that production number and actually producing that many ahead of time. Given the right type of automation they could have a production line capable of spitting out 65 million a quarter. Depending upon what this iWatch actually is and the methods used to manufacture it, fabrication may require a fair amount of automation just to make it possible.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    I don't know about German, but isn't Sapphire a proper noun? That is the name of a specific material?

    In English it's not capitalized when talking about corundum but oddly I tend to capitalize it when writing having to go back and correct it after the fact. Perhaps I should just save time by only using lower-case letters like Apple's hired ad team.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,520member

    It official the Samsung smart watch is a failure it is now for sale on Woot,

     

    http://www.woot.com/?utm_expid=31924516-10

     

    Woot is the dumping ground of unwanted stuff in Amazon's warehouses.

  • Reply 20 of 38
    ascii wrote: »
    Apple is from California and they like to export that culture in their products. And many times that is a good thing, but there are some negative aspects to that culture such as obsession with body image and fad diets and plastic surgery.

    These obsessions all begin (as they logically must) with simply thinking about food and exercise too much. Instead of food just being the thing you use to keep you going (so you can get on with your main interests), it becomes the whole focus of your life. Instead of exercise being that simple walk to work in the morning, it becomes something you obsessively do for hours every day. This unhealthy amount of thought about one thing is the start of what ultimately becomes anorexia and/or obsesity.

    And what could cause people to think about food and exercise an unhealthy amount, more than having it on their wrist all day, spitting statistics about their body to them? I'm sure when Apple think about what this product will do they are hoping it will help with the obesity epidemic. But I worry about the ordinary young woman with a well balanced diet and regular exercise putting one on and developing an eating disorder.

    My feelings too. I don't mind fitness being one element of a smartwatch, but if that is its main thrust, I don't think I would bite. There's no great secret to good health: eating in moderation and going for walks. No, an iWatch needs something else, like mobile payments.
Sign In or Register to comment.