Popular analyst warns iWatch may not hit market until late 2014

iWatch cocept (Martin Hajek, MacUser April 2013 issue 001)

Folks looking forward to seeing Apple launch its iWatch product this year probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. According to a new report from well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, there’s a good possibility we won’t see the rumored accessory until late 2014.

Kuo says that due to the vast changes coming in iOS 7, Apple won’t have the resources to build out software for the wristwatch-like device. And he thinks that, and an immature component market for wearable devices, will delay the project until the end of next year…

The information comes from a note Kuo issued to investors this morning (via MacRumors):

“Apple may not have adequate resources to develop an iWatch version of iOS because it may require big changes to iPhone and iPad iOS this year. In addition, wearable device components aren’t mature. For these reasons, we think mass production of the iWatch is more likely to begin in 2H14, not 2H13 as the market speculates.”

In addition to his timeframe prediction, the KGI Securities analyst also mentions a few details about iWatch hardware. He believes it will feature a 1.5-2.0 inch display and that Apple will draw from iPod nano components—particularly its processor and touch technology.

iWatch cocept (Martin Hajek, MacUser April 2013 issue 008)

Perhaps his most interesting prediction about the project, however, is that the watch will feature biometrics. He thinks support for the tech will allow for increased security, as well as open the door for broader health-related applications. Apple certainly has experts in this field.

The last we heard, Foxconn had received orders for the iWatch and was gearing up for a trial production run of 1000 units. Like Kuo, that report claimed the device has a 1.5-inch display. But the timing suggests that the project will be ready much sooner than 2014.

And it needs to be if Apple doesn’t want to get left in the dust by its competitors. Since the Pebble smartwatch raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter last year, a number of tech giants have pledged to get into the space, including Microsoft, Samsung and LG.

Photos by Martin Hajek.