Initial iWatch Shipments May Be Limited Due to Sapphire Issues, Half of Devices May Use Glass Displays

Echoing his earlier iWatch predictions, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today suggested (via AppleInsider) that Apple's iWatch will be available in limited quantities in 2014, with only three million devices hitting store shelves before the end of the year.

Kuo says that while market predictions point towards shipments between 5 and 10 million smart watches before the end of 2014, his own prediction based on supply chain checks is at three million units due to the iWatch's late production date.

Balogh-iwatch

Traditional watch-style iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh based on TRIWA's Havana Nevil Brown watch

Earlier this month, Kuo released a report pointing towards a November production date for the iWatch. Difficulties developing the screen for the device as well as its sapphire crystal cover are said to have slowed development on the iWatch, pushing back targeted production dates. "We believe developing the hardware and OS of iWatch will be a much more difficult task than for Apple's existing products," Kuo wrote.

Kuo believes that continued problems with the sapphire display for the iWatch may lead Apple to produce some of the devices with glass covers instead of sapphire. In the note, he also points towards TPK as the supplier for the iWatch's touch module. TPK's recent earnings report has suggested iWatch production has been delayed and will not begin until until the fourth quarter.

Apple is said to be aiming to introduce the iWatch at an October event, which means it may debut before production even begins. In the event that the device does not enter production until November, Apple may launch the device well after it is first introduced, much like it did with the Mac Pro. As a result, the iWatch may be available in very limited quantities in 2014, with availability increasing in early 2015.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

CrazyForApple Avatar
127 months ago
That's odd that half could be glass, that doesn't really make sense to me. They will probably just wait until they have enough sapphire.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WilliamG Avatar
127 months ago
And due to a shortage of iPhone power supplies, some iPhone 6 devices won't ship with power supplies. Or boxes. Or phones.

I'm all for rumors. But seriously, some of these rumors are just... madness.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
127 months ago
So...it's the Retina Macbooks all over again. Either you get the cheesy ghost-y LG displays, or you get the awesome Samsung displays with no ghosting at all!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yojimbo007 Avatar
127 months ago
How much baseless bs are these analysts going to get away with?
There is no true reporting anymore... It is all about payola and manipulation.
Pathetic... And i see no end in site..........
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
127 months ago
nothing comes out for almost the whole year and still every new device seems to have production issues. jikes
You mean RUMORED products are RUMORED to have ALLEGED production issues?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omenatarhuri Avatar
127 months ago
On balance, I tend to agree with your comment about madness. That said, the more months that pass by w/o any exciting, new, innovative, __________, fabulous pipeline releases the more credibility even the "madness" rumors will have.

For over a year now I been very critical of Tim Cook and his leadership group for all the reasons previously stated. My investment dollars (not a trader) have remained primarily with AAPL, which is a vote of confidence that the old culture of Apple will propel some great stuff through that pipeline that Cook keeps touting.

Only a few more months and the rumors will hopefully give way to some positive reality or confirm that there is a big problem at the top.
I might have agreed about a year ago but now the stock has rebounded to previous highs and the company has great momentum. Yosemite and iOS8 have awesome features and Apple is expanding to interesting areas like home, car and health. Hopefully finance by winter. Beats could prove a great deal of Apple can crush Spotify with it. Swift is greatly appreciated by devs who are new to Appleland like myself.

I miss having Steve as head of the company but I think the new guys Craig Federighi, Jony Ive and Cook are doing a great job honestly.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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