Apple's wearable 'iWatch' not expected to ship until early 2015

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2014
Though Apple is expected to unveil its hotly anticipated "iWatch" at a forthcoming Sept. 9 event, the device won't actually ship to consumers for some time, potentially missing the holiday season entirely and arriving in stores in early 2015, according to a new report.

Wearable Device
AppleInsider was first to discover an Apple patent filing describing a watch design with flexible display.


Citing "sources in position to know," the well-connected John Paczkowski of Re/code reported on Friday that Apple's anticipated wearable device isn't shipping "any time soon." Though he said it's "not clear" when Apple plans to ship the device, he said that onlookers should "think early 2015."

Such a move wouldn't be unprecedented, as Apple had delays between the announcement and eventual launch of both the iPhone and iPad. However, both of those devices were introduced in January, just after the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Apple had a five-month lead time between the announcement of the first iPhone and its launch in June of 2007. The wait time between the unveiling and launch of the first iPad, which runs a scaled-up version of the iPhone operating system, was considerably shorter, at just over two months.

If the "iWatch" debuts on Sept. 9 and follows the iPhone's release schedule, it wouldn't hit the market until February of 2015. But if the company were to somehow reach production as quickly as the iPad did, which Paczkowski's sources apparently do not believe will be the case, Apple could have the first units on sale in November.

The latest rumor comes on the heels of claims from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who suggested earlier this month that Apple may be facing internal delays for the unannounced product. Problems in bringing the device to market are said to be related to components, system design, manufacturing, and integration between hardware and software.

Specifically, Kuo has claimed that Apple faces sapphire cover production bottlenecks, which he said may force the company to use glass screen covers for about half of the "iWatch" units it ships. He also believes the device will sport a curved AMOLED display built by LG Display that presents difficulties in manufacturing.

"iWatch" concept by Martin Hajek.


Apple send out invitations to members of the media on Thursday for a Sept. 9 event, where the company is widely expected to unveil both the "iWatch" and a next-generation "iPhone 6." While the next iPhone is expected to come in two screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, and numerous parts for the anticipated handset have leaked online, much less is known about the "iWatch."

To date, there haven't been any parts leaked online suggesting what Apple's wearable project might look like. That would imply that manufacturing of the device has not yet begun. Rumors about the device's design, meanwhile, have been inconsistent on everything from shape to screen size.

Reports have claimed it will feature a touchscreen of some type, whether OLED or otherwise, and that the "iWatch" will run a modified version of the iOS platform that powers the iPhone and iPad. It's expected to connect to and act as an accessory for the iPhone, and also to focus on tracking and measuring health and fitness data. To that end, it's been speculated that the "iWatch" will be a key component of the new Health application built into the forthcoming iOS 8 update for iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 135
    I am so tired of seeing that same mannequin hand illustration.
  • Reply 2 of 135
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So Apple's getting in the game of vaporwear? It seems odd that they would announce something in the fall but not have it available to ship for the holidays. If it's not ready why announce it now? Unless Apple is that worried about it leaking? Or are they getting in the business of showing off prototypes so Cook can say to Wall Street "see we are innovating"? I'd love to call this rumor bunk, but the source is usually very accurate.
  • Reply 3 of 135
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    If they announce and don't release it for 2 months- people will wait.

    If they announce and don't release it for 5 months- people will wait.

     

    Apple can do whatever they want here.

  • Reply 4 of 135
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,571member

    So if Apple shows it September, and doesn't ship it until 2015, wouldn't that be the "vaporware" that everyone accuses other manufacturers of pulling off?



    Regardless, I can't wait to see it the iWatch and the new iPhone. I already sold my iPhone 5 in anticipation of the iPhone 6's arrival, and am making do with a $40 Nokia Lumia 520 that I got from Amazon in the mean time. 

  • Reply 5 of 135
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So Apple's getting in the game of vaporwear? It seems odd that they would announce something in the fall but not have it available to ship for the holidays. If it's not ready why announce it now? Unless Apple is that worried about it leaking? Or are they getting in the business of showing off prototypes so Cook can say to Wall Street "see we are innovating"? I'd love to call this rumor bunk, but the source is usually very accurate.



    How's that any different than SJ demoing the original iPhone six months before release? Maybe the iWatch needs FCC approval and Apple wants to show it off before the FCC "leaks" it.  It's not like the demand for wearables is gangbusters at the moment so even if it's released early next year, no big deal.

  • Reply 6 of 135

    It's no different from what Steve Jobs did when announcing the original iPhone in January and not shipping until June. 

    Apple have always had a delay from announcing new products to actual ship dates, just some delays are longer than others.

  • Reply 7 of 135
    Five months would be a lot of time for the competition to come up with something that at least resembles what apple is announcing. Like Rogifan I'm not sure what to make of this. Usually reliable source vs this huge gap between announcement and shipping. At least, they could announce it in a separate event before holiday season which would keep more people waiting and not give the competition that much time. Hm
  • Reply 8 of 135
    canukstorm wrote: »
    How's that any different than SJ demoing the original iPhone six months before release? Maybe the iWatch needs FCC approval and Apple wants to show it off before the FCC "leaks" it.  It's not like the demand for wearables is gangbusters at the moment so even if it's released early next year, no big deal.

    t's different in the sense that the iPhone was a completely new device category. In the meantime tech has evolved and powers all kinds of devices from tablets to watches making it easier for the competition to copy. Las example was touchID. so if they do this there better be a similar step change in tech involved.
  • Reply 9 of 135
    imemberimember Posts: 247member
    The best choice to a wearable smart device will be either a smartphone or smart sunglasses
  • Reply 10 of 135
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,354member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    If they announce and don't release it for 2 months- people will wait.

    If they announce and don't release it for 5 months- people will wait.

     

    Apple can do whatever they want here.


    Concur. The key is that the design and features are all settled, and that they will actually make this. It does not interfere or interrupt a current product; and perhaps makes the iP6 even MORE desirable. And it makes some sense to release it before the holidays, even if they can't deliver them. People will buy gift cards, particularly if they print cards with the iWatch/iTime on it. I can even see AAPL getting agressive and offering Kickstarter-esque queuing for production spots.

     

    All will be revealed. 

  • Reply 11 of 135
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMember View Post



    The best choice to a wearable smart device will be either a smartphone or smart sunglasses

    uh, what?  I think smartphones already exist and aren't wearable.  And what does one do when it's not sunny outside?  Wearing glasses sucks in general.  If people complain about "having" to wear a watch, wearing glasses is even less appealing.

  • Reply 12 of 135
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    mazda 3s wrote: »
    So if Apple shows it September, and doesn't ship it until 2015, wouldn't that be the "vaporware" that everyone accuses other manufacturers of pulling off?

    Not really. Vaporware is an announced product that never ships. Apple has no recent history of announcing products that never show or show quarters later.
    If Apple announces the iWatch the 9th, they will announce a realistic ship date.

    On the other hand, an early announcement would clearly be an attempt to disrupt the nacent smartwatch sector in hopes of preventing any other company from gaining early advantage during the holiday shopping season...
  • Reply 13 of 135
    Delayed availability is the only reason we've seen no leaks of the design. If it was in manufacturing leaks would be everywhere.
  • Reply 14 of 135
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post





    t's different in the sense that the iPhone was a completely new device category. In the meantime tech has evolved and powers all kinds of devices from tablets to watches making it easier for the competition to copy. Las example was touchID. so if they do this there better be a similar step change in tech involved.



    The competition still has a hard time copying the look and feel and user experience of the iPhone / iPad after all these years.  Apple doesn't need to be worried about the competition copying their new wearable device in five months.  The smartphones on the market right now are junk.

  • Reply 15 of 135
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    canukstorm wrote: »

    How's that any different than SJ demoing the original iPhone six months before release? Maybe the iWatch needs FCC approval and Apple wants to show it off before the FCC "leaks" it.  It's not like the demand for wearables is gangbusters at the moment so even if it's released early next year, no big deal.
    Differences is, that wasn't launched right before the holiday season. Are they going to have a functioning device(es) for people at the event to try out? Or are they just going to show a computer render and say "coming in 2015"?
  • Reply 16 of 135
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    If they announce and don't release it for 2 months- people will wait.

    If they announce and don't release it for 5 months- people will wait.

     

    Apple can do whatever they want here.


    I agree, but ... people are waiting anyway.  Basically the current market for smart watches is currently non-existent, so I find it unlikely that Apple will demo a non-quite-ready watch on the 9th.  If the rumor of not being ready to ship them until next year is correct, Apple is at least likely to demo a feature-complete, ready-to-be-mass-produced prototype.  Right?  There is no way Apple is going to just going to waive their hands around and announced "we've just about finished the long awaited watch, here's what it will do!" so that everyone else can copy it before it's even on the market.

  • Reply 17 of 135
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    Not really. Vaporware is an announced product that never ships. Apple has no recent history of announcing products that never show or show quarters later.
    If Apple announces the iWatch the 9th, they will announce a realistic ship date.

    On the other hand, an early announcement would clearly be an attempt to disrupt the nacent smartwatch sector in hopes of preventing any other company from gaining early advantage during the holiday shopping season...
    But yesterday people here were calling LG's new watch vaporware even though it apparently will be shipping before Apple's wearable device does.
  • Reply 18 of 135
    Wasn't it Re/code insisting just several days ago that both the iPhone and a wearable WOULD be revealed on the 9th?
  • Reply 19 of 135
    roakeroake Posts: 640member

    I can't really see apple announcing this product so far in advance.  They essentially did it with the latest Mac Pro, though.  Seemed to work out okay.  Maybe the pattern will be to announce new product lines further in advance to gauge market reaction while they still have a little time for fine-tuning (if they actually DO still have time for that 5 months prior to shipping).

  • Reply 20 of 135
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    But yesterday people here were calling LG's new watch vaporware even though it apparently will be shipping before Apple's wearable device does.



    Then they were wrong to call it vaporware.

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