2014-01-08

Co.Labs

Screen And Battery Issues Snag Apple's iWatch Production

Rumor has it that manufacturing issues are delaying the iWatch.



Apple lovers: Don't expect to be sporting around the iWatch anytime soon. New rumors suggest Cupertino is experiencing some manufacturing problems with the iWatch.

The Information reports that the iWatch team is having a hard time deciding on a screen technology that works with its battery. MacRumors reported the smartwatch showed battery life problems in 2013 while the company was trying to implement a longer-lasting battery that would allow the device to live without charge for up to five days. The smartwatch is said to have a 100mAh battery compared to the iPod Nano's 105mAh battery. The iPhone 4S and 5 also have a history of battery life problems.

The watch's rumored curved, glass display may also have something to do with the holdup. Last week, Apple supplier Corning announced it would be mass producing a curved version of its crack and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass used in iPhones. Also a few months ago, rumors swirled saying that the iWatch would reportedly be equipped with a plastic, bendable OLED monitor.

Another sign of trouble comes from the confirmed rumor that Apple has been seeing less than a 50% yield rate due to molding issues. DigiTimes reported that the tech giant was having issues applying surface treatments to its metal injection molded (MIM) frames, which is said to occur when trying to mold a device into a particular shape. More difficulties came with manufacturing when trying to apply MIM components typically used on the inside of devices to the outside of the smartwatch.

Apple also reportedly ended iWatch’s “advanced prototyping” due to unspecified manufacturing issues late last year. More trouble came when Apple lost significant iWatch team member Bryan James, who left the company for home mechanization company Nest Labs.

The combination of the quality demand, development process, and leadership rearranging may all contribute to the iWatch’s stunted growth. But, despite production hurdles, the iWatch is still expected to launch in 2014—though probably later in the year—with a team of 100 reported "bright minds" working on it.






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