Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to unveil its new smartwatch, dubbed the “iWatch,” at an upcoming event on Sept. 9 alongside the new iPhone 6 models, the company may not ship the wearable device to consumers “anytime soon,” a new report said Friday.
The iWatch, which will mark Apple’s entry into the growing wearable device segment, could miss the holiday season as it could arrive at the stores early next year, Re/code reported, adding that it is not clear when Apple would begin the shipment of the device, but early 2015 could be the timeframe to bet on.
According to Re/code, it will not be a surprise if Apple delays the iWatch release because the company has a history of maintain a significant gap between unveiling and launch of a new product category. Both the original iPhone and iPad were launched months after their announcement.
In addition, with no existing version of the iWatch to suffer declining sales ahead of a launch, Apple has the flexibility of unveiling the new smartwatch and shipping it at a later stage, MacRumors reported.
However, AppleInsider said in a report that if Apple somehow manages to ramp up production of the iWatch, it could have the first units of the device on sale as early as in November.
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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed last week that continued manufacturing difficulties related to the components and design of the iWatch could force Apple to delay the launch of the device until 2015.
“We reiterate our view that iWatch, as compared to existing products, and as Apple's (US) first attempt at a wearable device, represents a much higher level of difficulty for the company as regards component and system design, manufacturing and integration between hardware and software. While we are positive on iWatch and believe that the advantages of the design and business model behind it are difficult to copy, we think, given the aforementioned challenges, that the launch could be postponed to 2015,” Kuo wrote in a note, obtained by MacRumors.
In July, Kuo predicted in a different note that the mass production of the iWatch would begin in November with a launch date to come in 2015.
Apple sent out invitations to the media on Thursday for a Sept. 9 event, when the company is widely expected to introduce the new iPhone 6 models and the iWatch. While the iPhone 6 is expected to come in two versions, featuring screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, much less is known about the smartwatch.
According to recent rumors, the iWatch could feature an “indestructible” sapphire screen cover and could run a modified version of the iOS.