Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s sapphire-covered ‘iWatch’ to enter mass production in November

One of many iWatch concepts.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided relatively accurate information on future Apple product plans in the past (but frequent misses on timing), has issued a new report today indicating that the Apple smart watch will enter mass-production in November. Kuo’s previous estimate on production for the “iWatch” indicated that the device would enter mass-production rounds in September. “We have pushed back our estimated time of iWatch mass production from late-September to mid-/ late- November. We also lower our forecast of iWatch 2014 shipments by 40% to 3mn units,” Kuo wrote in today’s report. The analyst claims the push back is due to more complex hardware and software engineering in this first generation Apple product category.

Kuo also provides some tidbits as to what he is expecting the device to feature:

  • Flexible AMOLED display
  • Sapphire coated display cover
  • Higher waterproof standards
  • New system-on-a-chip components

Both a flexible AMOLED display and sapphire crystal display covers have been rumored in previous reports about the Apple smart watch, waterproofing technology makes sense in light of this being a fitness device that straps to a wrist, and we first reported in January that the iWatch will sport a new system on a chip to pack in numerous sensors that could track health data such as steps taken, calories burned, hydration, and sweat. The device, which will also include advanced mapping functionality per multiple sources, will integrate deeply with the iOS 8 operating system and its HealthKit software. We expect the device to be announced at a keynote address in October and launch by the 2014 holiday season.

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Latest iWatch rumor: October launch, curved display, Apple expecting to sell 3-5M a month

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The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Apple will launch its iWatch in October, rather than alongside the iPhone 6 in September as has been widely expected. It’s also citing unnamed “industry sources” as saying that the watch will have a curved, OLED touchscreen and that Apple is planning on producing 3-5M units a month.

According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year. This confidence is backed by its partnerships with high-profile hospitals — it has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic …

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Luca Maestri officially succeeds Peter Oppenheimer as Apple’s CFO and Senior VP

luca-maestri

In an SEC filing today, Apple announced that Luca Maestri has officially transitioned into the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President role. His first official day on the job was yesterday, May 29th. Maestri is not yet on Apple’s executive biographies page, but an official profile will likely go live in the coming days. Apple says that Maestri’s previous job as Principle Accounting Officer will be folded into his CFO role.

Maestri, previously Corporate Controller and a Vice President at Apple, replaces long-time CFO Peter Oppenehimer. The transition was announced by Apple earlier this year. Oppenheimer will shift his remaining responsibilities to Maestri over the course of the next few months and completely retire from Apple at the end of September of this year. As part of his promotion, Maestri will now receive an annual salary of $1 million and new stock-based payment packages:

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4.7″ iPhone 6 could be available in August, 5.5″ model in September

apple-iphone-6-concept

The newest reports from Taiwanese media indicate that the iPhone 6 could possibly be revealed in August, not September. According to these rumors, the smaller, 4.7-inch model could be available for purchase the same month, with the larger 5.5-inch version going on sale in September—the month in which most rumors had originally predicted the reveal.

As we’ve previously reported, the next iPhone will likely be available in two versions, each with a different size screen larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5s. Both phones will feature sapphire displays, which Apple recently began manfucaturing in China using sapphire crystal processed at its new Mesa, AZ facility.

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AAPL stock down as market ponders the mystery of the missing China Mobile deal

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AAPL stock took a 1.8 percent hit in pre-market trading as China Mobile not only failed to announce its iPhone launch today as had been expected, but its chairman Xi Guohua specifically told reporters that the world’s largest carrier had no announcement to make.

While neither Apple nor China Mobile ever officially confirmed today as the launch date, the Chinese government confirmed the date as the one on which 4G service would begin, China Mobile had said it would launch “a new brand” today and the WSJ seemed confident last month that today was the day.

The deal has been a very long time in the coming, but all the pieces of the puzzle looked to have fallen into place …  Read more

Parallels Black Friday Bundle: 8 great apps for the $79.99 price of Parallels 9 alone (82% off)

Parallels-9-bundle

The Black Friday software bundles are already streaming in and this latest from Parallels promises to be popular.  For the retail price of Parallels 9 alone ($79.99), you get Parallels 9 and a 6 month subscription to Parallels Access for iPad.  Parallels then adds Snagit screen capture tool, CleanMyMac 2 and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac. You also get a year of Hightail (formally Yousendit) Professional plan for sending big files via email, Boom volume booster and mSecure password manager. A fantastic deal at $79.99 (make sure to click the “Bundle and Save” link), it ends December 3.

We reviewed Parallels 9 in September (excerpted below the fold) and found it to again be the best virtualization software for Mac with speed improvements for Mavericks and Windows 8.1 along with easier setup and operation.

Today’s earlier Black Friday software bundles from Adobe and Stack SocialRead more