At this point, few people are questioning whether Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is actually working on an iWatch device. But according to new sources, we now have more details than ever on the specifics of its arrival.
To be sure, a Reuters report yesterday cites sources "familiar with the matter" as saying Taiwan-based Quanta Computer will start mass production of Apple's smartwatch in July. What's more, a second source said the iWatch is currently in trial production at Quanta Computer, which will serve as the the device's primary manufacturer and account for at least 70% of the final assembly. In addition, Reuters reports the iWatch's commercial launch could come as early as October, and Apple expects to ship roughly 50 million units in the first year following its release.
But wait, there's more...
The sources also noted Apple's iWatch face will likely feature a slightly rectangular touch display which measures 2.5 inches diagonally, include wireless charging capabilities, and will create an arched shape by protruding slightly from the band.
And yep, I know what you're thinking: This means the iWatch will have a curved, flexible OLED display. Sure enough, a third source chimed in to state LG Display (NYSE:LPL) is indeed the exclusive supplier for the iWatch's screen -- that is, at least for the initial batch of production. If true, this confirms rumors from January stating as such, and meshes well with LG Display's ambitions to lead the charge in fostering applications for flexible OLED technology.
This is also great for Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED), from which LG Display both licenses OLED-centric patents and buys OLED materials necessary for producing its flexible displays. Of course, the amount of OLED material required to build even 50 million iWatches annually pales in comparison to that for larger smartphones and televisions, so the deal may not significantly boost Universal Display's top-line. But at the very least, finally bringing Apple on board would serve as fantastic validation for Universal Display's flagship technology, and could open doors for continued expansion of its use in other consumer electronics.
Finally, the iWatch also contains a sensor to monitor the wearer's pulse, with Singapore-based Heptagon listed as a supplier for the feature. Of course, you can bet this single sensor likely isn't the iWatch's only health-related feature, but it does speak directly to Apple's recent introduction of its new Health app and HealthKit developers' toolkit. As it stands, both new products make no mystery of Apple's ambitions to effectively redefine the way we use consumer electronics to interact with the health care industry.
Unsurprisingly, all of the aforementioned companies declined to comment on the report. But with each passing day, it seems the pieces of Apple's iWatch puzzle are gradually coming together.