Everyone has their eye on Apple this year hoping to see the first truly relevant wearable computer released at one of the company’s iconic events. But the iWatch isn’t by far a done deal.
A new report from former WSJ editor Jessica Lessin over at The Information (subscription required) indicates that Apple is still struggling with some major manufacturing issues.
Choosing the right screen technology has been noted as the primary setback. Apple still hasn’t found one that doesn’t drain the battery in a couple of days.
[ADMARK1]The second hurdle is, of course, battery life. The iWatch reportedly has a battery cell comparable to that of the sixth-generation iPod nano.
But while the nano mainly just plays music with its screen off, the iWatch would perform a flurry of CPU-intensive tasks with its display mostly on. A larger / more powerful battery is needed (or at least some very power-efficient chips).
“None are necessarily significant enough to delay a launch, which analysts peg to this year,” writes Lessin. “But they illustrate the hurdles the company faces before it can release its first major new device since its family of iPads.”
Apple is reportedly switching manufacturers as it decides which supplier is best. Adding insult to injury, the company has also lost Bryan James, a talented engineer who has been on the iPod division for years, and who was working on the iWatch.
James has fled to Nest, a company founded by a former Apple staffer widely regarded as the grandfather of the iPod, Tony Fadell. This may not strike readers as particularly serious, but it could be.
Manufacturers are a dime a dozen, and so are battery and screen technologies, but heavily experienced engineers are vital to the success of any product, especially before said product even hits the market.