Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are both reporting this morning that Apple’s much-expected iWatch health monitor is about to enter production in anticipation of an announcement “as early as October.” This certainly would fit with Apple’s normal product cycle and would be in time for holiday shopping.
Both outlets say that the device will be built by Quanta, in Taiwan. Quanta’s work for Apple thus far has been on laptops and iPods; iPhones are built by Hon Hai, a division of Foxconn.
The WSJ adds that there will be several versions (such a revelation!), possibly with different screen sizes — and that features and form aren’t quite nailed down. The Journal also says that production will start “in two or three months,” which pretty much conflicts with October shipment; August/September is pretty late to be starting to build a multi-million-unit device for October shipment.
Reuters cites sources who say that the iWatch’s screen will be about 2.5 inches diagonal and “slightly rectangular.” The device itself will have a touch interface, which is not unexpected, and wireless charging, which would be welcome indeed. Reuters also reports that production will start next month, which makes more sense than the WSJ’s timetable, and that the screen is being made by LG Display; we speculated as much back in October when LG started a new production line of flexible OLED displays.
It remains unclear precisely what body functions the iWatch will track. The WSJ report talks about 10 sensors, which from a component standpoint is unclear as many sensors now sit on the same chip,. But if we count sensor functions, how about: accelerometer, compass, temperature, altimeter, heart rate, blood oximetry, blood pressure, GPS, and ….?