Apple ‘iWatch’ Launch Coming in 2014 as Design Problems Spur Hiring Spree?

According to a report by The Financial Times, Apple’s latest smart watch won’t launch anytime soon as the company has begun efforts to “aggressively” hire employees to deal with design problems:

Apple has embarked on a hiring spree to tackle design problems with its “iWatch” wrist computer, bringing in fresh expertise amid concern that the launch of its first new product since the death of Steve Jobs could be at least a year away.

The company has begun hiring “aggressively” for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple’s plans for the wearable device, a move that shows it has stepped up development but which raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology.

According to one source, Apple wants outside experts to help build their smart watch, due to “hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve.” Sources say CEO Tim Cook could still delay the product’s launch, just like he has with other scrapped ideas in the past.

Given the timing of the aggressive hiring spree, sources say this hints the watch would not make its debut until the latter part of 2014. Amidst the desire for new talent, one source says a senior member of the iWatch team who contemplated leaving the company, ended up staying after receiving a substantial pay raise.

Previous reports by Bloomberg have stated Apple has over 100 designers working on its so-called smart watch. Recent worldwide filings for the iWatch trademark by the company has spurred speculation a wearable device is set to launch. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at D11 he believed “the wrist is natural” when it came to wearable technology, unlike glasses such as Google Glass.

Along with the recent hire of ex-Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, many have suspected this may be related to the company’s upcoming projects such as a smart watch. Previous reports by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated Apple’s smart watch would debut in 2014, rather than this year, due to the fact components for such a device have not matured.