Early 'iWatch' Production Seeing Poor Yields Due to Issues with Body Finish Treatments?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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While Apple's long-rumored "iWatch" may be one of the products to look for in 2014, several rumors have suggested that the device is unlikely to launch until the latter half of the year as the company works to address technical challenges.

A new report from DigiTimes claims that one of those issues involves surface finish treatments for the body of the device, with both Apple and Qualcomm searching for ways to improve the look of chassis parts made using metal injection molding (MIM) methods.
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. [...]

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.
Qualcomm's Toq smart watch
Metal injection molding may sound very similar to what Apple is trying to achieve with Liquidmetal alloys, but there are distinct differences between the technologies, with MIM involving powdered metals that are combined with binder materials and placed into molds before being heated to very high temperatures to solidify while Liquidmetal alloys are heated to a molten state before being formed using molds and allowed to cool.

Liquidmetal Technologies argues that its alloys and processes offer significant advantages over MIM, including greater precision in molding shapes while offering higher strength, hardness, elasticity, and corrosion resistance than with typical metals. But while MIM is an established production process, Liquidmetal technology remains under development and its inventors have indicated that it will still be several years before it it can be used to produce major parts for Apple's products.

Article Link: Early 'iWatch' Production Seeing Poor Yields Due to Issues with Body Finish Treatments?
 

dragje

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2012
865
551
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I rather see the launch of a proper looking and working iWatch in 2015 then a half working product with lot's of issues in 2014.

My advice to apple, bring it on the market only when it's truly remarkable and ready for use with a solid battery life among with great functionalities.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,050
I rather see the launch of a proper looking and working iWatch in 2015 then a half working product with lot's of issues in 2014.

My advice to apple, bring it on the market only when it's truly remarkable and ready for use with a solid battery life among with great functionalities.
Pretty sure your advise for Apple is what they've almost always done.

They weren't the first MP3 player. They took their time to make it better. They weren't the first smartphone on the market. Again they took their time. They weren't the first tablet on the market....
 

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,091
1,234
Don't worry Apple, take your time. Get it right. Don't pull a Samsung. They will be watching.
 

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
542
California
Apple's purchase of Liquidmetal's production rights is looking like a waste of funds. The only use, and that was very limited, was for the SIMM ejection tool (yawn).

Thus far, the use of the stuff is always several years away according to the "experts".
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,113
1,885
Manhattan
I rather see the launch of a proper looking and working iWatch in 2015 then a half working product with lot's of issues in 2014.

My advice to apple, bring it on the market only when it's truly remarkable and ready for use with a solid battery life among with great functionalities.
It's not going to take Apple a year to fix a minor production problem.
 

wilhoitm

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
380
214
It's not going to take Apple a year to fix a minor production problem.
This is just a rumor, the real issue is probably battery life! Buy the way does anyone know what the battery like of this Qualcom Toq watch is? Is it more than a couple of days? A week? Two weeks? A year?
 

Namji

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2010
621
14
Would the iWatch or any smart watch going to be useful at all?
I mean you already have your smart phone with you at all times.. why would you flip your wrist to look at your watch when you can just dig into your pocket and look at your phone with a bigger screen?
 

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
Would the iWatch or any smart watch going to be useful at all?
I mean you already have your smart phone with you at all times.. why would you flip your wrist to look at your watch when you can just dig into your pocket and look at your phone with a bigger screen?
It will most likely have other uses as well.
 

Dorje Sylas

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2011
499
330
I haven't exactly seen the Smart Watch devices take off for any other company. Samsung has had to get its provider company partners to push the SWatches hard alongside their phones.

Really is about functionality, battery life, and connivance.

Personally I can't stand wrist watches. They always made my wrist chafe, so I can't really follow the appeal of a "smart" one. It would just end up in my pocket anyways.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,707
5,007
NC
Would the iWatch or any smart watch going to be useful at all? I mean you already have your smart phone with you at all times.. why would you flip your wrist to look at your watch when you can just dig into your pocket and look at your phone with a bigger screen?
Because it's easier to just flip your wrist instead of digging into your pocket.

Oh sure it's not too difficult to dig your phone out of your pocket... I do it 1000 times a day.

But with a smartwatch... I might only dig my phone out 500 times a day.

Personally... I dig my phone out of my pocket quite often to check the time. Whoa!
 
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