Apple ‘iWatch’ may not ship until 2015: report
Cupertino’s wearable faces production problems, may be absent from September launch
Apple's long-awaited wearable device was expected to be unveiled on September 9 along with the iPhone 6, but according to a report from tech-rumour specialist Re/code, the device will not ship before the new year and so may be notably absent at the launch event.
Citing a source who said of the device, "It's not shipping anytime soon," Re/code speculated a first-quarter launch.
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested a delayed launch for the device expected to be called "iWatch".
"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," he wrote in a report issued in July.
"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."
Apple also faces supply-chain issues with its iPhone 6, according to reports that cited a redesign of a screen component. The Cupertino-based firm has struggled to meet investor expectations on innovation in its products as Chinese competitors have released cheaper alternatives and captured a greater share of the worldwide smartphone market.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged new product categories for 2014 and is widely believed to have been referring to the iWatch. However, the new wearable is thought to be a companion device for iPhones and iPads, rather than having standalone connectivity. Apple's arch-rival Samsung has already established itself in this category with two generations of Gear wristwatches and last week launched the Gear S, thought to be the industry's first standalone smartwatch.