Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to release its long-rumored smart watch, dubbed the “iWatch,” in the third quarter of this year, with shipments of the device expected to touch the 65-million mark in 2014, according to a report from China’s Economic Daily News.
The report said Tuesday that Apple's suppliers, including Quanta Computer Inc. (TPE:2382) and Richtek Technology Corp. (TPE:6286) will manufacture the smart watch's chips while Taipei-based TPK Holding Co. (TPE:3673) would supply the sapphire touch panels expected to be used in the iWatch. The report also said that the design of the iWatch’s processor would be developed by Apple, while its production would be outsourced to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005935).
Meanwhile, in order to meet the Q3 launch schedule, Apple has reportedly asked its suppliers to deliver the products beginning in August, DigiTimes reported.
Reports said in November that Apple had signed a contract with Quanta to mass-produce the iWatch for a second-quarter launch this year and another report said, in February, that the Cupertino-based technology giant had chosen TPK to produce flexible AMOLED panels for the iWatch.
AppleInsider reported on Monday that the iWatch could feature a UV light exposure sensor provided by Texas-based Silicon Labs. The report cited a new research note from Blayne Curtis, an analyst at Barclays, who said that the sensor would track heart rate, pulse and blood oximetry levels, while also providing proximity and gesture control.
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“These chips measure UV exposure to aid those with elevated risk of sunburn or just a general concern about excessive sun exposure, and we believe they may be of appealing [sic] to OEMs looking to differentiate in a crowded market,” Curtis wrote. “To that end, while these products have seen little public hype thus far, we believe SLAB has a win in Apple’s upcoming iWatch (late 2H14 or early 2015).”
According to recent reports, Apple could release the iWatch alongside the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 later this year. If the current prediction of a Q3 release of the smart watch is accurate, the company could also be expected to introduce the device at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June, MacRumors reported.