KGI Securities have recently said that Apple plans to ship 5 million to 10 million iWatch or iTime devices by the end of 2014, however, that number has now been slashed to three million due to production of the device being pushed to the second half of November from September. If true, it would be a huge blow for Apple since it would likely not have enough units for the holidays.
KGI also believes that Apple is aiming to launch its iWatch devices with sapphire cover lenses, but may option to launch some with glass lenses due to production bottlenecks it is currently facing. If true, this information would align with earlier reports that claim Apple is having problems with sapphire production, and it could hamper the launch of the iPhone 6.
Furthermore, KGI is claiming that TPK is poised to provide the touch module for the iWatch. In addition, the AMOLED display and lamination service will be handled by LG. We must note that Samsung is nowhere in this equation, a clear sign of Apple's intent to rely less on the Korean company.
We understand that wide availability of the iWatch might not happen until in December or in 2015, and again, this has much to do with Apple's sapphire ambitions. This type of material is more advanced, and also more difficult to manufacture. Also, Apple has never released a product with a large sapphire glass before, so making this move will be a challenge for the Cupertino tech company. Right now, the largest sapphire component on the iPhone 5S is the protective glass over the Touch ID section of the device, that's it.
Will less iWatch shipments be a problem for Apple?
With Android Wear slowly gaining traction with eager consumers waiting to see what it is all about, Apple will need to overcome these issues if it wants to keep Google and its army of Android manufacturers at bay. If the iWatch turns out to be popular, folks who are unable to get their hands on one would likely turn to a similar offering from either Motorola or Samsung, and that will end up as a loss sale for Apple. So, as it stands now, Apple has no choice but to buckle down the hatches and churn out enough iWatch devices to meet demand.