Apple hit the headlines in a major way on Tuesday, as expected, due to the company’s quarterly financial conference call in which CEO Tim Cook said that the Apple Watch is on track to launch this April, pretty much as the company previously said.
The tech press, and eager consumers, have been waiting for more details on the Apple Watch for months now, ever since the new device was announced and previewed at the iPhone 6 launch event in September. The company previously said that the device would launch in “early 2015” but everyone thought that meant February or March. The head of Apple said that the project is on schedule according to its own project plans, and that they consider the first four months of the year as “early”, the next four as “mid” and the last four as “late”.
Nevertheless, whether you think April qualifies as “early 2015” or not, there is certainly massive interest in the company’s first wearable, and dozens of big-name developers already working on software for the device.
Recently, it was claimed that the Apple Watch’s battery life may disappoint, but at least it will be no worse than other current generation smart watches that also feature an OLED (rather than E-Ink) display. What’s the reason for the rather late launch? It may be related to supplier yields for the S1 chip, or perhaps due to final tweaks in the design and performance that Apple is working on.
Regardless, well known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (of KGI Securities) last week said that the Apple Watch would hit the stores in March, with around 2.8 million units expected to sell in the first three months of the year.
It’s not certain just how many Apple Watch units Apple is hoping to sell, but Kuo said that component suppliers expect four to five million in the March quarter. He also said that some of the manufacturers involved currently have low yields on some of the device’s parts, which obviously has an impact on how quickly Apple’s partners can manufacture them. The Apple Watch is said to be made by Taiwan’s Quanta Computer, though it has not yet been confirmed.