Analyst: No Apple iWatch this Year

Apple's rumored and highly anticipated iWatch won't make it to store shelves this year thanks to production issues. That's the word from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo who said the device is proving to be very difficult to build thanks to a new manufacturing process Apple had to develop and the use of several specialized components.

KGI analysts think the iWatch won't ship until next year because of production issuesKGI analysts think the iWatch won't ship until next year because of production issues

Mr. Kuo expects the iWatch will launch some time in 2015 instead of this fall. 

Apple has been expected to jump into the wearable tech market soon with a product commonly referred to as the iWatch. The smart watch device is said to include several sensors for tracking our health and fitness, and then feed that information to our iPhones. So far, Apple hasn't offered up any confirmation, although CEO Tim Cook has said he is very interested in the wearables market.

In a note to investors, Mr. Kuo said,

We reiterate our view that iWatch, as compared to existing products, and as Apple's (US) first attempt at a wearable device, represents a much higher level of difficulty for the company as regards component and system design, manufacturing and integration between hardware and software. While we are positive on iWatch and believe that the advantages of the design and business model behind it are difficult to copy, we think, given the aforementioned challenges, that the launch could be postponed to 2015.

Assuming Apple is planning on releasing a wearable device this fall, the company would need to ramp up production soon, and so far there haven't been any indicators that the usual manufacturing partners -- such as Foxconn -- are cranking out the devices. There also haven't been any compelling parts leaks yet, which typically would have surfaced by now.

Despite the lack of information, it's still possible Apple is on track for a fall launch. If the company is building the devices in its own U.S.-based facilities, just as it does with the Mac Pro, potential leaks are much easier to control. The new Mac Pro, for example, was a complete surprise when it was introduced because no information made it to the media ahead of its introduction.

Mr. Kou's sources, however, think Apple simply isn't ready to jump into full scale production, and will have to wait until 2015 to roll out the iWatch.

[Thanks to the Financial Times for the heads up]