Apple seeking another supplier to help build Apple Watch 2

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Apple Watch 2 concept by Eric Huismann
One possible concept for the Apple Watch 2.
Photo: Eric Heisuman

Apple is seeking out another manufacturer to help build its upcoming Apple Watch 2, according to a newly published report, citing supply chain insiders.

While Apple currently relies on Quanta Computer to build its first-gen wearable device, the company is said to also be speaking with Inventec, Wistron and Foxconn Electronics — all companies Cupertino has previously worked with — to help build its follow-up smartwatch, which is expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2016.

The report doesn’t make clear whether this company would be in addition to, or as a replacement for, Quanta — although it appears to suggest the former.

Quanta chairman Barry Lam recently commented that an Apple Watch 2 is very much in the works, during a recent investor meeting — pinning down the rough launch date as Q2 2016. Subsequent rumors in the Chinese media clarified Lam’s comments by suggesting a small batch of Apple Watch 2 devices would ship near the end of next year’s second quarter, while volume shipment will begin in Q3.

Previous rumors have claimed the Apple Watch 2 will keep the same size, shape and resolution as its predecessor — but will boast a larger battery, added FaceTime camera, greater iPhone independence, and additional high-end models costing $1,000+.

Today’s report adds a few details about first-gen Apple Watch demand, claiming that Apple has reduced its volume order from 6 million to 4 million units for the holiday quarter this year, due to device not being as strong as expected.

It also alleges that companies in the Apple Watch supply chain have not yet seen the kind of returns they were expecting for the device, which is disappointing given that they have invested heavily in equipment in order to secure Apple orders.

Apple is expected to have sold around 10 million Watches during 2015.