| TAIPEI, June 20
TAIPEI, June 20 Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc
will start mass production of Apple Inc's
first smartwatch in July, according to a source familiar with
the matter, as the tech giant tries to prove it can still
innovate against rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
The watch, which remains unnamed but which company followers
have dubbed the iWatch, will be Apple's first foray into a niche
product category that many remain skeptical about, especially as
to whether it can drive profits amid cooling growth in tech
Apple will introduce a smartwatch with a display that likely
measures 2.5 inches diagonally and is slightly rectangular, one
of the sources said. The source added that the watch face will
protrude slightly from the band, creating an arched shape, and
will feature a touch interface and wireless charging
The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units
within the first year of the product's release, although these
types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch
is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the
main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final
assembly, the source said.
While the watch is widely expected, the start date of its
mass production and the extent of Quanta's involvement were not
known until now. Mass production will start in July and the
commercial launch will come as early as October, according to
the source and another person familiar with the matter.
A third source said LG Display Co Ltd is the
exclusive supplier of the screen for the gadget's initial batch
It also contains a sensor that monitors the user's pulse.
Singapore-based imaging and sensor maker Heptagon is on the
supplier list for the feature, two other sources said.
Apple declined to comment. Quanta, LG Display and Heptagon
also declined to comment.
(Reporting by Michael Gold; Additional reporting by Reiji Murai
in TOKYO, Christina Farr in SAN FRANCISCO, Jeremy Wagstaff in
SINGAPORE and Vincent Lee in SEOUL; Editing by Rachel Armstrong,