Apple Watch Rumors: Chip Suppliers to Start Production 'Soon'

Nov 13, 2014 08:09 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Chip manufacturers responsible for supplying silicon for the highly-anticipated Apple Watch are preparing for production ahead of an expected early 2015 launch.

Apple chip suppliers are almost ready to start production for components bound for the Apple Watch, according to DigiTimes, citing industry sources. This would be the company's first foray into the wearable device market.

Based on the first batch of orders, supply chain sources believe that Apple could produce around 30 million to 40 million Apple Watch units. In comparison, Samsung sold more than 800,000 Galaxy Gear smartwatches during the first two months of availability.

Apple is using advanced system-in-package (SiP) technology for its Watch, which goes beyond the current A-series chip designs to include the entire computing system on one chip, according to AppleInsider.

Called the "S1," the Apple Watch SiP is a custom-designed piece of silicon that stacks and integrates a number of subsystems into an area small enough to fit within a wristwatch's small footprint. 

Apple has not said much about the S1 besides calling it an "industry first" on multiple occasions. Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive said the S1 is entirely encapsulated in resin for superior protection against the elements during a video presented during its Watch unveiling back in September.

The Watch, along with the S1 SiP, features a Force Touch Retina display capable of discerning taps from presses, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi, Taptic Engine for haptic feedback, NFC for Apple Pay, wireless inductive charging and a "Digital Crown" for OS navigation and using Siri, according to AppleInsider.

The most recent rumors indicate a Feb. 14 debut date, though a number of analyst in the industry have the device launching sometime during the second quarter of 2015.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said late last month that he believes Watch owners users will have to charge the device daily since they will be using it so much.

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