Why the iWatch may be Santa’s last-minute gift this December

Santa discreetly taking a peek at his non-iWatch.

Santa discreetly taking a peek at his non-iWatch.

Although Apple is still expected to unveil the iWatch to the world at an October event, the actual release of the wearable may coincide with the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 closer to Christmas.

A key parts supplier in Asia for the iWatch is forecasting weak profits until later in 2014, which means it won’t start making parts for the device until then. As a result, the leading investment firm in Asia has drastically lowered its forecast of how many iWatches Apple is expected to ship in 2014.

The supplier of silver nanowire ink for the iWatch’s touchscreen, TPK, is no longer expecting a very profitable third quarter in 2014 as originally stated. Instead, the company is now telling investors that it will see a big spike in profits during the fourth quarter. While TPK hasn’t mentioned its Apple partnership as the reason for the change, pushed back iWatch production is believed to be the cause.

The same Chinese leaker who predicted the iPhone 5s launch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 recently said that the iWatch won’t be available until December. Both the iWatch and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 have been facing manufacturing issues regarding the use of sapphire displays. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is still on track for an earlier release around September like normal.

CLSA, Asia’s top investment group and equity broker, also believes that the iWatch won’t enter production until the fourth quarter. While CLSA originally predicted that Apple would ship 20 million units by the end of the year, that number has been lowered to 6 million.

Apple’s own revenue guidance for its next fiscal quarter, which wouldn’t include sales from anything announced in October, is not unusually low. But with $37-40 billion in expected revenue, its numbers don’t suggest that we’ll see a big new product category launch until the last three months of the year.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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