updated 03:34 pm EDT, Wed September 11, 2013
Inventec, Quantec identified as manufacturers
The Apple iWatch is allegedly facing major yield rate problems in its supply chain, according to Taiwanese industry sources. The people suggest that the chain is currently only able to supply 30 to 40 percent of the order volumes Apple has been hoping for. The product's manufacturers -- at a ratio of 6:4 -- are thought to be Inventec and Quanta Computer. Expectations are that the iWatch will ship in the second half of 2014, at a price of about $149 to $229.
Digitimes claims that the iWatch will be built using powder metallurgy technology, with follow-up processing using CNC machines. The yield rate problems may stem from Apple's insistence on making the iWatch thin and light, which may impose intense demands on parts suppliers and manufacturers alike.
Apple may have a long time to sort out production problems. If the device is only shipping in late 2014, it's unlikely that the iWatch's design has been finalized at this point. Apple also typically requires just one or two full months to produce enough units for a launch, which means that at the earliest the watch would go into mass production in April.