Top Apple analysts says iWatch is running too late for 2014 launch


Despite a planned October unveiling, Apple may still not release the iWatch until next year. That’s the latest from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, an unusually reliable Apple analyst.

Re/code reported two months ago that Apple’s first “foray into wearable devices” was planned for October. Kuo, on the other hand, has repeatedly thrown shade on the idea of a 2014 iWatch launch. Citing production difficulties this time, he still seems unsure.

We reiterate our view that iWatch, as compared to existing products, and as Apple’s (US) first attempt at a wearable device, represents a much higher level of difficulty for the company as regards component and system design, manufacturing and integration between hardware and software. While we are positive on iWatch and believe that the advantages of the design and business model behind it are difficult to copy, we think, given the aforementioned challenges, that the launch could be postponed to 2015.

The “could” makes it sound like Kuo doesn’t know for sure, but is still highly skeptical. Last month, he said that the iWatch would enter mass production in November with a Sapphire-coated, flexible AMOLED display. Remember the headlines about the iWatch potentially costing thousands of dollars and coming in a line of different sizes? That was Kuo too.

It’s very possible that Apple would announce its wearable(s?) in October and not ship until late November or even early December. But delaying sales until after the holidays would likely not sit well with customers or investors. Apple has been known to make huge product decisions at the last minute, so everything is still up in the air.

Tim Cook did promise new “product categories” in 2014, and the iWatch would certainly fall under that description.

Kuo has also said that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could potentially not ship until 2015, although the 4.7-inch model appears on track for a September release.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff 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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