Apple to Ship Only 3 Million 'iWatch' Units in 2014?

Aug 01, 2014 05:00 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said on July 31 that he believes only 3 million "iWatch" units will be shipped from Apple for store shelves by the end of 2014, according to a report by AppleInsider.com.

In a note to investors, the KGI Securities analyst said he expects production issues will push the device back from a September release to November, which would result in fewer units available for purchase.

The issue has caused Kuo to decrease his expectation of 5 million units available in 2014 to 3 million, according to the report.

Kuo also expects Apple to face sapphire cover lens production issues. As a result, the iPhone marker will ship at least half of the wrist-worn smart devices with glass covers instead of sapphire.

A number of recent rumors claimed manufacturing of the wearable device would start in the fourth quarter, which is very late for a product expected to launch in time for the holiday season.

Wide distribution of the "iWatch" won't happen until December, according to an earlier report by Kuo. He cautioned that availability will be well below market expectations, a stance he reiterated this week, emphasizing that "excess market optimism" could have a negative effect on Apple shares.

The iWatch is rumored to come with a flexible AMOLED display complete with sapphire cover glass. Apple has never used an OLED display in a consumer product before, which could be one of the reasons why less devices will be available for purchase this year.

Apple has also not released a product with such a big sapphire glass installation before, according to AppleInsider.com.

The largest the company has used for any iOS device is the protective Touch ID cover found on the iPhone 5S.

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