Production Challenges Slowing Down iWatch Release [Rumor]

A third-party concept design for the iWatch might look.

A third-party concept design for how the iWatch might look.

DigiTimes is reporting that Apple is experiencing difficulties in its long-rumored iWatch development — meaning that the (as yet unannounced) consumer launch may slip back further during 2014.

The not-always-reliable news site cites sources from the upstream supply chain, who report that the iWatch production slowdown is the result of the device’s body design. Apple is “reportedly seeing less than 50% yield rates due to difficulties applying surface treatments on their metal injection molded (MIM) chassis.”

“The MIM process is often used in the mass production of high-precision products with complicated industrial designs as it allows components to feature special shapes, but still maintain rigidness.

MIM-made components used to be used inside products, but as the components are now becoming part of the external design, surface treatments have become an important process for the look of products.

Since clients have high demand over quality, and also need high volumes of supply, most component makers are having difficulties satisfying both of requirements.”

The report states that other companies (and devices) affected by the production issues include Qualcomm’s Toq.

A number of companies — among them Sony, Samsung, Pebble, Casio, and Nike — are all preparing to launch wearable devices in 2014.

Other rumors have stated that development on the iWatch has taken a back seat as Apple has instead turned its attention to developing its next generation iPad.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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