Apple Inc. (AAPL) has promised a barrage of new hardware this year, but we haven’t seen much coming out of Cupertino so far, with minor updates to the MacBook and iMac. But the second half of the year will be something to look forward too, if a report in Reuters published yesterday is to be believed.
The report has outlined several Apple iWatch specs, and claims that the wearable device will come in multiple designs. While none of the Apple iWatch details have been officially confirmed by Apple, inside sources say that Taiwanese computer maker Quanta Computer will start mass producing the smartwatch next month, with a release slated for either late September or October.
Quanta has previously worked with Apple in supplying components for its MacBook and iPod lines. Quanta’s components will make up around 70% of the iWatch’s total assembly. The rumored iWatch will be equipped with a rectangular 2.5-inch touchscreen, which will be supplied by Korean display maker LG Display Co. Ltd (LPL). The device will reportedly have an arch-shaped form factor, much like a seamless band. It will also have a unique touch interface that may include wireless charging capabilities.
The smartphone will also feature multiple sensors and independent functions that integrate with the new health ecosystem introduced in iOS 8 earlier this month. But many other functions, such as messaging and calls, will only be enabled by pairing it up with an iPhone or an iPad.
A number of the included sensors will be specifically for monitor health metrics, such as the user’s heart rate. The health sensors in the iWatch are reportedly supplied by Singapore-based sensor maker Heptagon. Apple expects to ship around 50 million smartwatches in its first full year of commercial release.
Also notable is the fact that unlike the iPhone or iPad, Apple has lagged behind in the smartwatch space. Competitors such as Samsung, Sony Corporation (SNE), and Google Inc. (GOOG) have launched multiple versions of smart wearable devices that connect with smartphones to offer various functions. Nonetheless, critics remain skeptical of the technology and its wider appeal.
Apple’s shares closed down 0.3% yesterday, after the news was broke around the last hour of normal trading. LG Display, which trades on the NYSE, rose 2.4% yesterday.