Apple’s long-awaited wearable computer device iWatch is reported to have entered into production, with a late 2014 release date for the smartwatch being mooted by tech observers.
Business Insider Australia has pointed to a report in the China Times that cites supply chain sources leaking information about the production schedule for the iWatch.
Apple news website MacRumors has cited similar reports from Chinese news sources about the device going into production.
“Echoing an earlier report from notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the site’s sources also suggest the iWatch will take advantage of a system-in-package (SiP) design that allows a multitude of chips to be placed on a single module. This could allow Apple to the fit multiple sensors rumored for the smart watch into a tiny area while keeping the device small enough to be worn comfortably on the wrist,” MacRumors says.
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Earlier SmartCompany reports had indicated the possibility of Apple using a subsidiary firm of tech rival Samsung, Samsung SDI, as a supplier of lithium-ion batteries for the new device.
Samsung SDI, South Korean compatriot LG Chem and Chinese firm Tianjin Lishen Battery are the major suppliers of lithium-ion batteries worldwide, with both South Korean firms reportedly signing on as iWatch suppliers.
Analysts expect the wearable device market to quickly eclipse the GPS-based fitness device market.
Senior ABI research analyst Patrick Connolly says fitness devices are set to face a difficult battle in the market against wearable devices.
“Our forecasts for the overall GPS-enabled fitness area remain strong, hitting $US2.6 billion in 2018, but as was the case with turn-by-turn navigation, converged devices and wearables will take an increasing part of the available market.”