Devices iWatch News, apple, gadgets, News, samsung, Technology — August 29, 2013 18:29 — 0 Comments
Apple ‘iWatch’ suppliers could build 63m in 12 months
Report that Taiwanese companies have won orders for ‘wearable computing’ product, as Samsung prepares to launch device
Two suppliers in Taiwan have won orders to build Apple’s much-expected “iWatch” for release in 2014, according to a Taiwan-based analyst and local reports.
Quanta and Inventec will split the orders in a 60:40 ratio and could build up to 38m of them next year, suggested the Appledaily website, while CIMB Securities analyst Wanli Wang suggested that it might ship more than 63m units in the first year after its launch.
Apple has not indicated whether it is working on the device, but the possibility of an “iWatch” has been the subject of growing speculation since reports surfaced earlier this year that Apple had a team working on a “wearable computing” product – a field that chief executive Tim Cook called “profoundly interesting”.
A smart watch could connect to a user’s phone and provide updates or information without needing them to consult their phone directly. In the US, Pebble Technology has already sold 85,000 of its Pebble watches at $150, after a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $10m.
Apple’s interest was noted after it filed for an “iWatch” trademark in Japan in July, and more recently hired a Nike executive for an undisclosed post.
An “iWatch” would probably be unveiled early in 2014 to assess the broader market – but will be playing catch-up against rivals including Samsung, which is preparing to unveil its own “Gear” watch device on 4 September at the IFA event in Berlin, and Google, which is expected to put its head-worn “Glass” product into commercial production during 2014, having already begun “Explorer” trials with thousands of users in July.
Price and functionality would be key questions for Apple to solve. Angela McIntyre of the research group Gartner told the Guardian that she thought it might be priced between $149 and $199: “That’s within the price range of a nice holiday gift for a husband or wife. Apple products are typically priced somewhat more than competing devices, and people who pay a premium for the Apple brand expect better quality and design.”
She added: “If Apple ships more than 63m units the year after launch, iWatch would ramp faster than iPhone, iPad or iPod, which seems unlikely. If Apple gets the iWatch right, it could become the top selling smartwatch.”
Apple said it did not comment on rumours or speculation.
Meanwhile Apple has been on a quiet acquisition spree in the past few months. It confirmed that it has just acquired AlgoTrim, a Swiss company which provides data compression systems for mobile imaging and video.
That adds to five other acquisitions since the beginning of July. Three were mapping-related companies – Locationary of Canada, and HopStop and Embark in the US – while one, Matcha, provides “media discovery” and the other, Oakland-based Passif Semiconductor, specialising in low-energy wireless systems. None of the prices for the acquisitions has been revealed.
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