The highly anticipated iWatch will be available only in limited quantities, and that’s not the 20 million or 6 million units that recent rumours have been talking about. In a note issued to investors and obtained by AppleInsider, well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expressed concern about iWatch availability and said only 3 million Apple smartwatch units will hit stores this year.
This anticipated shorter period of production has prompted Kuo to decrease his projected build plans from 5 million units this year to just 3 million units.
In addition, Kuo also anticipates that Apple may face sapphire cover lens production bottlenecks. As a result, he predicts that at least half of finished “iWatch” products will ship with glass covers instead of sapphire.
His forecast echoes his earlier claims, and it is based on his sources in Apple’s supply chain. According to these sources, Apple will push back production from September to the second half of November, and secondly the company may face sapphire production issues.
Recent reports based on TPK company guidance suggested that Apple may push back iWatch production to the fourth quarter of this year, and Kuo firmly believes that TPK will supply the touch module for the highly anticipated smartwatch.
Kuo’s forecast seems to echo what several analysts have been saying for some while: Apple could face sapphire glass production bottlenecks, which means no sapphire glass for the iPhone 6. And, as you may recall, earlier reports claimed that only the high-end iWatch models would sport sapphire glass.
The issues Apple may face while manufacturing the iWatch come from the new component and material choices, says Kuo. Apple is widely expected to unveil a smartwatch this fall. It remains to be seen whether rumours of the iWatch will finally materialize.