Apple Reportedly Cements iWatch Suppliers for Q3 Intro

The Apple Crystal BallGird your loins, because it's time for more iWatch rumors: Economic Daily News of Taiwan is claiming (Google Translate) to have a finalized list of suppliers for Apple's iWatch with terms that include August delivery for components for a Q3 introduction. The report also claims Apple is targeting production of 65 million units for 2014 alone, but take that one with a huge grain of salt.

Let's look at the last point, first: 65 million units for what amounts to one quarter of production. By my calculations, 65 million units in one quarter is a Crap Tonne™ of wearable devices, and I ain't buying it. 65 million units for 2015? Sure. No problemo, but not for 2014.

The rest of the story, however, smacks of being solid. Orders to multiple vendors attached to time frames are the kind of information that Apple's supply chain has leaked like a sieve for years, and it's also the kind of information they are likely to have in the first place.

Contrast that to a Taiwan-based leak claiming that Apple is making a specific product based on sample orders, or stories that claim to know what product Apple has decided to make or not to make. Those are decisions the supply chain simply isn't privy to.

Other tidbits included in the EDN story include the use of sapphire in the iWatch, a substance that Apple has invested heavily in. The company is building a major manufacturing facility in Arizona that will be used in part to make sapphire, and in February, Apple CEO Tim Cook told shareholders that the Arizona facility would create thousands of jobs and a new ecosystem. Many, including yours truly, took that to refer to Apple's wearables initiative.

The report also claimed that Quanta will be the final assembler.

The usual pattern for new Apple products is that the closer we get to Apple's actual release date, the more solid the rumors and leaks get. For the last two or three years, this has culminated with cases and then fully assembled devices that leak through the supply chain in the 4-6 weeks before release.

If that pattern holds true with the iWatch/Apple wearable, and EDN's list of suppliers is accurate, we should start seeing those leaks in late August or September. An August delivery for components also suggests a shipping date in October or November, making it match up to a new release of iOS and iPhones in the same time frame.