Apple’s iWatch Isn’t Ready, iOS Needs More Development [KGI]

Apple may not have "the adequate resources" yet, says Ming-Chi Kuo

The iWatch, a rumored Apple product believed to mark the company’s foray into wearable computing, is likely far off. That, according to one analyst with a proven track record on Apple reporting.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with KGI Securities, has been speaking to people with knowledge of Apple’s modus operandi, as well as some part suppliers in Asia, and has reached the conclusion that the iWatch isn’t close to fruition.

While he doesn’t deny the existence of the device, Kuo says the Apple iWatch is still in the early stages of development, and that includes the underlying software too.

His reasoning is simple: “Apple may not have adequate resources to develop an iWatch version of iOS because it may require big changes to iPhone and iPad iOS this year,” he writes in a research note.

“In addition, wearable device components aren’t mature. For these reasons, we think mass production of the iWatch is more likely to begin in 2H14, not 2H13 as the market speculates,” says Kuo.

It’s certainly saddening news, but only if you choose to believe what Kuo is laying out in his research note. By all means, he could be wrong.

Plus, he doesn’t say with certainty that the iWatch isn’t coming this year, but rather that he and his fellow analysts don’t see it as very likely.

What he’s more certain of is that Google Glass can’t hold a stick at the iWatch, and the latter hasn’t even been confirmed, mind you. Here’s what he has to say on this topic.

“Apple will likely enter the wearable device market via iWatch first, not glasses. We think glasses aren’t likely to be mass produced in the next 1~2 years given cost and consumer behavior.”

“Take Google Glass for example. We forecast Jabil will make only around 40k units in 2Q13, a far cry from mass production.”

“We think Apple has accumulated abundant experience in designing wearable products through developing the sixth generation of the iPod nano, and the iPhone has many accessories similar to wrist bands. Moreover, Apple has applied for many curved screen and battery patents, which would be helpful for developing watch-like products.”

Kuo’s research note also mentions some technical specifications, such as the potential screen size of the iWatch (1.5-2.0 inches), and the inclusion of biometrics technology for features that require authentication.

“Integration with other Apple products a key selling point,” he adds.

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