Apple has stepped up procurement of chips and components for the second-generation Apple Watch, according to sources from the supply chain (via DigiTimes).
Shipments of chips and components for the second-gen Apple Watch are reportedly set to begin in the third quarter, indicating a launch later this year.
Orders for the upcoming Apple Watch have been higher-than-expected, according to the sources, after what they called "disappointing sales" of the first-gen smartwatch. Despite that, Apple's pull-in of orders is said to be "rather aggressive", and the sources estimated that about two million units of the new Apple Watch could be shipped monthly.
Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past.
Rumors had initially suggested Apple would introduce the second-generation Apple Watch in March 2016 with shipments of the device set to begin in April 2016, but a conflicting report confirmed the Apple Watch 2 would not be ready for a spring launch.
A rumor out of the Asian supply chain in January suggested work on the next-generation Apple Watch was already underway, with Quanta working with Apple on the development of the device. Trial production on Apple Watch 2 was rumored to have started in January, with full production beginning in mid-2016 in preparation for a fall launch alongside the iPhone 7.
Apple is said to be working on implementing cellular network connectivity and a faster processor. Built-in cellular capabilities would allow the Apple Watch to place calls, send messages, and access data without the need for an iPhone, while a faster processor would result in speed improvements when accessing apps.