updated 10:42 am EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Apple's main FCPB supplier plans $100 million in upgrades
Three flexible PCB suppliers have reportedly been delivering validation samples to Apple in preparation for iWatch production, sources tell Digitimes. The people are scarce on other details, but do say they expect Apple to announce the iWatch in September. A company called Zhen Ding is said to be Apple's largest FPCB supplier, and planning to spend $100 million to upgrade its capacity not just for the iWatch, but for greater demand of iPhone and iPad parts.
Another firm that delivered samples, Flexium Interconnect, is reportedly increasing its capital expenditures up to between $49.6 and $66.12 million this year. The third, Career Technology, is planning to expand capacity in China and Taiwan.
While flexible circuit boards are used in many kinds of electronics, the iWatch may impose particular demands if it curves around the wrist, as many rumors have claimed. Space in the device will also be at a premium, since Apple will have to mesh a processor, storage, a battery, health sensors, and wireless circuity in a format that's comfortable to wear all day.