Apple Watch chip suppliers rumored to start production soon, orders at 30M to 40M units

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited November 2014
A rumor out of East Asia on Wednesday claims chip manufacturers responsible for supplying silicon for the upcoming Apple Watch are ramping toward production ahead of an expected early 2015 launch.


Apple's S1 system-in-package chip for Apple Watch.


Citing industry sources, DigiTimes reports Apple's chip suppliers are nearly ready to start production for components bound for the Apple Watch, the company's first foray into the wearable device segment.

Judging by the the first batch of orders, supply chain sources estimate Apple to turn out an initial 30 million to 40 million Apple Watch units. By comparison, Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch sold some 800,000 pieces during its first two months on sale.

With Apple Watch, Apple is employing advanced system-in-package (SiP) technology that goes beyond the current A-series chip designs to include an entire computing system on a single chip. Dubbed "S1," the Apple Watch SiP is a custom-designed piece of silicon that stacks and integrates multiple subsystems into an area small enough to fit within a wristwatch's small footprint.

Apple expectedly has not revealed much about the S1 aside from touting it as an industry first. In a video presented during the Apple Watch reveal in September, Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive said the S1 is entirely encapsulated in resin for superior protection against the elements.

Along with the S1 SiP, the Apple Watch features a Force Touch Retina display capable of discerning taps from presses, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Taptic Engine for haptic feedback, NFC for Apple Pay, wireless inductive charging and a so-called Digital Crown for OS navigation and invoking Siri.

As far as availability, the most recent rumors point to a Feb. 14 debut date, though industry scuttlebutt has the device launching closer to the second quarter of 2015.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    We are hearing about who the chip suppliers are, but who is making the Watch case materials.
    Maybe it will be like the Mac Pro aluminium case which is made in the U.S.





    edit: case made in u.s.
  • Reply 2 of 121
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Who are the chip suppliers for ?Watch? With the rest of the product many things come from different countries like Italy, The Netherlands and France. It will be interesting to see where it's all pulled together. So far photos we've seen of ?Watch don't say where it's being manufactured.
  • Reply 3 of 121



    With a design like the S1 package, this watch is beautiful inside and out.

     

    This Apple Watch is the new iPhone folks.

     

    Everyone else has made their primitive clunky smart watches just like they did with the mobile phones, some will now try to copy the Apple Watch over the next 5 years.

     

    Remember how Google panicked and changed Android's designs at the last minute to copy the iPhone?  Well, they can't do that with the Apple Watch now.  If you look at the Android ware crap and think it is in the same category as the Apple Watch then good luck with that, you must still be using a Samsung feature phone.

  • Reply 4 of 121
    dfdfdfd
  • Reply 5 of 121
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    Not too long ago there was a fight for the watch that lives in your pocket and the watch that lives on your wrist.

    The wrist won.
  • Reply 6 of 121
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    ecats wrote: »
    Not too long ago there was a fight for the watch that lives in your pocket and the watch that lives on your wrist.

    The wrist won.

    Good observation.

    As an AAPL shareholder, I would be thrilled if they sell 30-40 million in the first year.
  • Reply 7 of 121

    With a design like the S1 package, this watch is beautiful inside and out.

    This Apple Watch is the new iPhone folks.

    Everyone else has made their primitive clunky smart watches just like they did with the mobile phones, some will now try to copy the Apple Watch over the next 5 years.

    Remember how Google panicked and changed Android's designs at the last minute to copy the iPhone?  <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Well, they can't do that with the Apple Watch now.  If you look at the Android ware crap and think it is in the same category as the Apple Watch then good luck with that, you must still be using a Samsung feature phone.</span>

    The best thing is how hard it would be to copy. None of the other companies have the brand cachet that Apple does to compete in the very high end, and they can't produce and integrated design with a great OS anytime soon. It'll likely end up like the MP3 player market, there will be the small group insisting their little Diamond Creative Zen Rio M6X3d Plus is better, while the rest of people just bought an iPod.
    ecats wrote: »
    Not too long ago there was a fight for the watch that lives in your pocket and the watch that lives on your wrist.

    The wrist won.

    Good point.

    blastdoor wrote: »
    Good observation.

    As an AAPL shareholder, I would be thrilled if they sell 30-40 million in the first year.

    I expected them to be conservative and have a target of 10 million (still a ton). That'd be over three billion in revenue at the bare minimum. Pushing that to 35 million units would be a minimum of over twelve billion...
  • Reply 8 of 121
    I like my hypothesis that you don't go to the trouble of putting an entire SIP (COC) into a single, sealed piece of resin unless 1) you have it to be water resistance (perhaps IP67 or better), and/or 2) you want this to be a long-lasting standard that can be used in future ?Watches but with updated performance and capacity on the S-series chip.
  • Reply 9 of 121
    ecats wrote: »
    Not too long ago there was a fight for the watch that lives in your pocket and the watch that lives on your wrist.

    The wrist won.

    And not too long ago the watch went right back into the pocket, in the form of the smartphone.

    The pocket won. ;)

    It's the *ahem* "tick-tock" of the time piece industry. (My apologies in advance for the terrible joke)
  • Reply 10 of 121
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I think hypothesis that you don't go to the trouble of putting an entire SIP (COC) into a single, sealed piece of resin unless 1) you have it to be water resistance (perhaps IP67 or better), and/or 2) you want this to be a longlast standard that design that can be used in future ?Watches but with updated performance and capacity on the S-series chip.

     

    Wouldn't that be something if the Apple Watch had the ability to swap future chips.

  • Reply 11 of 121
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Unlike whats-his-name who asserted that selling less than 100 million watches the first year would be the standard for failure (yes, selling 1000 times the volume of your biggest competitor can be classified as a failure in troll land), perhaps this recent rumor can help us set a reasonable standard for success from Apple's perspective.  If it's true that Apple is making 30m-40m of these things to start, then first year sales of less than 30m would have to be considered "disappointing."  Conversely actually selling out that first back would be the baseline for "success."

     

    I'll put my money on success.

  • Reply 12 of 121
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post





    And not too long ago the watch went right back into the pocket, in the form of the smartphone.



    The pocket won. image



    It's the *ahem* "tick-tock" of the time piece industry. (My apologies in advance for the terrible joke)

    Right, but that's the point of ECats' perceptive observation.  Pocket watches were in pockets because they were too big and clunky to go anywhere else.  A clock in a pocket!  How revolutionary!  It was only when they got small enough to fit on the wrist that it became clear that the pocketwatch was just a transitional success.  Let's see whether we're carrying slabs of glass and metal in our pockets 10 years from now.

  • Reply 13 of 121
    Will 30-40 million people buy what's likely to be an over-priced iWatch that'll soon be left in the dust by later, better, and less-expensive versions? Maybe. But if I worked at Apple, I wouldn't bet my career on that.
  • Reply 14 of 121
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    The best thing is how hard it would be to copy. None of the other companies have the brand cachet that Apple does to compete in the very high end, and they can't produce and integrated design with a great OS anytime soon. It'll likely end up like the MP3 player market, there will be the small group insisting their little Diamond Creative Zen Rio M6X3d Plus is better, while the rest of people just bought an iPod.

    Good point.

    I expected them to be conservative and have a target of 10 million (still a ton). That'd be over three billion in revenue at the bare minimum. Pushing that to 35 million units would be a minimum of over twelve billion...

    Agree with you that target of 10M seems to be the conservative measure of success.  Will be great if they can sell 30-40M units in year 1, but seems a big stretch for a generation 1 product.  There are a lot more early adopters now compared with say 10 years ago, but still...

     

    I am with you in that a "fashionable" wrist computer will be difficult for traditional competitors such as Samsung, Lenovo, HTC, Microsoft, etc., to copy.  They are firmly in the tech/geek sphere.  Expect those companies to partner with current watch companies (Swatch, Guess, Fossil, etc) who at the "middle of watch market" have the most to lose from Apple's entry.  That still won't help them produce a better product than ?Watch, where Apple has & can continue to invest significantly into materials, system packages, etc, because they make so much money.  But they will try, will sell more low-end products that are rarely used, make little if any profit, and market share analysts will claim success.

  • Reply 15 of 121
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Will 30-40 million people buy what's likely to be an over-priced iWatch that'll soon be left in the dust by later, better, and less-expensive versions? Maybe. But if I worked at Apple, I wouldn't bet my career on that.



    What's an iWatch? I don't think they've announced that.

     

    And I suppose it's a good thing that no one has ever been dumb enough to purchase technology that soon became obsolete. :no:

  • Reply 16 of 121
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brucemc View Post

     

    Agree with you that target of 10M seems to be the conservative measure of success.  Will be great if they can sell 30-40M units in year 1, but seems a big stretch for a generation 1 product.  There are a lot more early adopters now compared with say 10 years ago, but still...

     

    I am with you in that a "fashionable" wrist computer will be difficult for traditional competitors such as Samsung, Lenovo, HTC, Microsoft, etc., to copy.  They are firmly in the tech/geek sphere.  Expect those companies to partner with current watch companies (Swatch, Guess, Fossil, etc) who at the "middle of watch market" have the most to lose from Apple's entry.  That still won't help them produce a better product than ?Watch, where Apple has & can continue to invest significantly into materials, system packages, etc, because they make so much money.  But they will try, will sell more low-end products that are rarely used, make little if any profit, and market share analysts will claim success.




    We also don't know Apple's planned update cycle for the Watch, it may not be every year (from a HW standpoint). The iPod wasn't upgraded every year. If they intend to use this for a couple of years (which would be a bit unexpected, but not crazy) then having 10 million the first year, 30 million the second would be logical.

  • Reply 17 of 121

    We also don't know Apple's planned update cycle for the Watch, it may not be every year (from a HW standpoint). The iPod wasn't upgraded every year. If they intend to use this for a couple of years (which would be a bit unexpected, but not crazy) then having 10 million the first year, 30 million the second would be logical.

    1) The iPod was updated every year until it's numbers and interest started dropping significantly.

    2) I can see a new casing and band design every year. Isn't this how the high-end watch makers sell watches?
  • Reply 18 of 121
    If true, and that's a big if, that's a very very overly optimistic number for this device imo. First gen devices that most don't really need to order components in iPhone numbers. I have a hard time believing Apple world do that.
  • Reply 19 of 121
    malax wrote: »
    techlover wrote: »
    And not too long ago the watch went right back into the pocket, in the form of the smartphone.


    The pocket won. ;)


    It's the *ahem* "tick-tock" of the time piece industry. (My apologies in advance for the terrible joke)
    Right, but that's the point of ECats' perceptive observation.  Pocket watches were in pockets because they were too big and clunky to go anywhere else.  A clock in a pocket!  How revolutionary!  It was only when they got small enough to fit on the wrist that it became clear that the pocketwatch was just a transitional success.  Let's see whether we're carrying slabs of glass and metal in our pockets 10 years from now.

    We will be.
  • Reply 20 of 121
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Captain J View Post



    If true, and that's a big if, that's a very very overly optimistic number for this device imo. First gen devices that most don't really need to order components in iPhone numbers. I have a hard time believing Apple world do that.



    Apple sold almost 15 million iPads the first nine months, and that was at $499 or higher.

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