Taiwan Supply Chain Claims Apple Watch Production Will Begin in January

The Apple Watch Crystal BallA supply chain leak out of Taiwan is claiming that Apple and Quanta have solved yield issues that will allow Apple Watch production to ramp up starting in January. United Daily News reported (via MacRumors > GforGames - Google Translation) that the first wave of Apple Watches will number in the 3-5 million mark, with 24 million scheduled for all of calendar 2015.

The report indicates that Apple would be in a position to ship Apple Watch earlier than competing rumors and analyst reports have indicated—perhaps towards the end of the first quarter. Analyst Brian Blair from Rosenblatt Securities issued a report in October claiming that Apple had to push back release of the Apple Watch due to problems in the supply chain.

UDN also claimed that Quanta has increased its Apple Watch-related workforce from 3,000 employees to 10,000. The company is reportedly aiming to have between 30,000 and 40,000 people working on the device when full-scale production begins.

Apple has said only that Apple Watch will ship in "early 2015." Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Sales for Apple, intimated in a note to her retail employees that Apple Watch would ship "in the spring." Spring officially begins on March 20th and lasts until June.

In other words, absent more information on what Apple intended, neither the October report from Brian Blair nor UDN's new report necessarily contradict Apple's original "early 2015" announcement or Ms. Ahrendts's note to employees.

It's also important to remember that Apple's supply chain is enormously complex, as CEO Tim Cook said in an interview. Even when leaked information is accurate within the scope of the leaker's purview, drawing conclusions from those leaks is a dicey business, at best.