The second generation Apple Watch will enter mass production in the second quarter of this year, claims Digitimes. The IT website cites supply chains sources, which identify Quanta Computer as the sole Watch manufacturer.
Digitimes’ sources seem to follow up on an earlier report claiming that a trial production of the Apple Watch 2 has commenced this month, suggesting the start of the mass production to be the second quarter.
Interestingly, Apple has chosen to proceed with a sole manufacturer, despite its policy to use at least two suppliers. The possible reason — as mentioned by the sources — is the volume of Apple Watch orders: the company has apparently lowered its output forecast due to weaker than expected demand for the wearable device.
Apple originally considered shifting some second-generation Apple Watch orders to Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), but decided to keep all the orders with Quanta as volumes will not be high, the sources noted.
Without specific data from Apple it is hard to verify that sales were lower than expected, especially when we factor in Apple CEO Tim Cook’s statement to investors reassuring them that sales have been growing and they expect it to further rise.
As a result, the only “reliable data” at hand remains that supplied by market research firms, whose feedback generally suggests the Apple Watch to be a success. According to the latest available data from IDC for example, the Apple Watch has grabbed more than 50% of the wearables market, becoming a strong rival to established players such as FitBit.
The Digitimes report also corroborates reports of there being no Apple Watch launch on the rumoured March media event, although TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino says we might see an updated version of the wearable with FaceTime camera. However, every sign seems to imply a September release for the Apple Watch 2.