According to a new rumor report from Reuters, Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc. will start mass production of Apple Inc's first smartwatch in July, according to a source familiar with the matter, as the tech giant tries to prove it can still innovate against rival Samsung.
The report notes that the watch which remains unnamed will be Apple's first foray into a niche product category that many remain skeptical about, especially as to whether it can drive profits amid cooling growth in tech gadgets.
Apple will introduce a smartwatch with a display that likely measures 2.5 inches diagonally and is slightly rectangular, one of the sources said. The source added that the watch face will protrude slightly from the band, creating an arched shape, and will feature a touch interface and wireless charging capabilities.
The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product's release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.
It also contains a sensor that monitors the user's pulse. Singapore-based imaging and sensor maker Heptagon is on the supplier list for the feature, two other sources said. The use of a pulse rate (and heart rate) monitor(s) was noted in new patent applications from Apple today relating to "a bracelet containing a built-in vibrator."
One of Apple's latest patents notes that "motion sensors and pulse rate sensors may indicate that a user is running. However, location sensors may report that the user is not moving and is in a building. From this data, the system may conclude that the user is running on a treadmill. Pattern recognition in sensor data may even be used to determine subtypes within a certain activity type. For example, running on pavement (streets and sidewalks) may be distinguished from running on a trail or from running on a track."
Apple has filed for iWatch trademark around the world, yet Apple's every indication is that a possible device will focus on health more than time. Patently Apple recently posted an in-depth special report questioning the nature of Apple's iWatch.
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