Apple Watch (Retina display 001)

As Apple shoots to bring its smartwatch to market in early-2015, news reports Tuesday asserted that the Cupertino firm has commissioned contract manufacturer Quanta Computer to start mass producing Apple Watches in January 2015, citing supply chain rumors first mentioned by Apple Daily [Google Translate] and reposted by GforGames.

Apparently Taiwan-based Quanta is the only manufacturer tasked with building the device, the story goes, contradicting earlier rumors that mentioned both Quanta and Inventec, an iPad supplier, as Apple Watch manufacturers.

The Apple Daily report gives hope that the fashionable smartwatch could hit store shelves in time for Valentine’s Day 2015. For what it’s worth, a recent article by The Information alleged that “Apple would be lucky” to ship the device by Valentine’s Day.

The Apple Daily report stated that Apple had asked Quanta to start making preparations, part of which is increasing its worker head count to four million. Moreover, the two companies reportedly brokered a deal prohibiting Quanta from manufacturing smartwatches for Apple’s rivals.

NPD DisplaySearch estimated the cost of building the Apple Watch’s flexible AMOLED screen at $27.41 per device for the larger model: the 299ppi display itself costs an estimated $7.86 per unit while the sapphire-coated touch panel runs Apple $19.55 per unit.

Based on alleged orders for five million AMOLED panels per month throughout 2015, DigiTimes thinks Apple is shooting to move upwards of 50 million Apple Watches next year, dwarfing Morgan Stanley Katy Huberty’s previous estimate of 30-60 million units.

Yesterday, Apple dispatched its design czar Jony Ive along with his fellow designer Marc Newson and others to Paris to help promote the Apple Watch which had been put on display at Colette’s boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré.

watch colette

Ive and Newson, who previously designed timepieces under the banner of Swiss watchmaker Ikepod, gave personal presentations to The Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Chanel creative chief Karl Lagerfeld.

The Apple Watch starts at $349 for the entry-level model, with luxurious models available at yet-to-be-revealed prices. The device was unveiled alongside new iPhones at the September 9 media event.

Cook and Jeff Williams, Apple’s Senior VP of Operations who manages the Apple Watch software and hardware engineering groups, explained in an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek that the wearable gizmo will miss the all-important holiday shopping season because the teams are laser-focused on making “the best product in the world”.

“One of our competitors is on their fourth or fifth attempt, but nobody is wearing them.” Cook said. “We could have done the watch much earlier, honestly, but not at the fit and finish and quality and integration of these products,” he said. “And so we are willing to wait.”

If you can’t wait to buy yours, 3-D print your very own Apple Watch at home by downloading designer Martin Hajek’s template.

[Apple Daily via GforGames]

  • Why not introduce apple ipod touch 6?

  • Jacob S

    Personally I think apple watch won’t be a success due to the cost factor.

    • Fanboy 

      Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 cost $300….. for only $50 more you get a superior product, that while it doesn’t have the most amazing design the software features and capabilities are 100x better….. “Wont be a success”, lol.

    • Agreed! It’s too much for what it does. The 2nd gen will be a lot better and then I may be able to justify the cost. But honestly I can’t see this thing selling as many as they are claiming it will.

      • iBanks

        They raise the price of the 2nd generation and you’ll be crying the same song.

      • When gen 1 doesn’t sell at the 349.99 price they’ll have to lower it for gen 2.

      • iBanks

        But you must agree, Gen 1 will surely sale pretty well.

    • ericesque

      You forgot the fugly factor.

  • 50 Millions units, they’ll be lucky to sell half that. No way this thing sells that many with it’s price tag. They should have announced it at 199.99, then they would have sold 50m.

  • wallpaper of the week

  • jack

    such a disappointment to know apple didn’t deliver a breakthrough battery.. what other company has the money to make a manhattan project for a new battery?