Apple’s iWatch suffering weak yield rates due to metal injection molded chassis issues, sources say

“Several wearable devices such as Apple’s iWatch and Qualcomm’s Toq are reportedly seeing less than 50% yield rates due to difficulties applying surface treatments on their metal injection molded (MIM) chassis, according to sources from the upstream supply chain,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“MIM-made components used to be used inside products, but as the components are now becoming part of the external design, surface treatments have become an important process for the look of products,” Lee and Tsai report. “Since clients have high demand over quality, and also need high volumes of supply, most component makers are having difficulties satisfying both of requirements.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With patent activity seemingly seeming accelerating in 2013, you’d think that Apple would be well along their path to Liquidmetal by now, meaning that any issues Apple is dealing with are different than those being seen by all of the also-ran non-Liquidmetal wrist-borne device makers. Lumping Apple into a group of maker of “several wearable devices” would lead us to question the veracity of this report, unless Apple is still too far away from Liquidmetal production and are attempting to use non-Liquidmetal production techniques and materials. This report, if true, might hint that the first iWatch will not be using Liquidmetal in any notable fashion.

And, of course, the reported yield rates, if true, for Apple could be within expectations at this time in the product’s development. Not enough data.

Need input… More input, Stephanie!Number 5

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20 Comments

  1. I just don’t get this “wearable computing” fad. What is so interesting about smart watches or smart glasses? What’s the point? Similar things have been done in the 80s and 90s and frankly, they should stay there. Remember the Virtual Boy from 1995? It was reborn as Google Glass in 2014. What about CueCat? Reborn as QR Code in 2010. Why are people brining back dead tech from the past? Have we lost all original thought?

    1. Yeah, and since the Newton didn’t take off, we don’t need to try again with this silly iPhone thingy either. I mean, really, adding a phone to an iPod won’t make it any more useful.

      1. Sorry, forgot to add:

        /s

        I’m sure most caught it, but for those who are sarcasmically challenged… 🙂 (Yes, that is really a word. Now. You’ll be using it tomorrow. Seriously.)

    2. i think the watch is a dumb idea also. BUT let me say there will always be a few people that want to take a dumb idea and run with it. (that how we got delis ,laundromats, pizza joints and Chinese restaurants,bagel joints in mini shopping centers every 50 feet here in long island)

    3. Yes. I tend to agree. There has got to be some feature or capability that we don’t already know about. Otherwise, I don’t see the value.
      I had speculated that, combined with something like Google Glass, it could be big. If it could eliminate your conventional phone, that might be big. However, if it only augments or works with a conventional phone, the value isn’t there.

  2. Exactly who releases this type of information and for what reasons? Some guy goes into a bar, has a few drinks and starts talking about what’s going on within his company? So, was Samsung able to solve this problem with the Galaxy Gear or is Apple’s iWatch designed differently? Does Apple have any sort of timeline for the introduction of their iWatch? It’s just as likely as this yield problem could be solved in months so it may not mean anything at all. I remember pundits talking about the poor yield problems of the Touch ID sensor, too but it the problem was likely solved in time. I certainly haven’t heard anything more about Touch ID sensor yield problems.

    1. Exactly! This is the type of nonsense that Samsung and Google peddle! How is that Galaxy Watch doing? What about Google Glass? They will be as dead as Virtual Boy and the Power Glove.

        1. Bwahahaha! Humorous and most likely what will be the case. Thankfully, bragging rights of ‘being first’ don’t typically translate into what’s best and what sells in the market. Witness the Newton, still the foundation of PDAs and SmartPhones. Got there first, but not a big hit.

  3. I’m sure this has analysts worried. After all, with zero sales to date, the iWatch looks like a dud. And the low manufacturing yields are especially worrisome, given, the rapid advances in sales of the competing Microsoft Windows Watch, especially to corporate IT departments.

    So far, Apple’s iWatch has been slipping in rumor market share, according to BGR and The Verge, both of which are more hip than we are. Apparently, the year-over-year non-sales of the iWatch continue to slow down, and analysts are now looking to Apple for the next big thing, which we hear may be the iBowTie. Stay tuned.

    Please. When will the BS stop? There is no guarantee that Apple will ever make such a product. But that never stopped the rumor sites from pumping out garbage reports, which then get carried by the financial and mainstream media, and this impacts the company’s stock valuation.

    Is it too much to report on FACTS, not the fantasies of questionable Taiwanese rumor sites?

    1. DigiTimes has had “low iWatch yield” stories since September. Yield figures imply actual production lines, yet 3 months later still no sign of the phantom product. More fairy tales from DigiTimes, whose vapor yields are unprecedented.

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