Apple gets its watch manufactured by Quanta Computer presently but is now searching another manufacturer, according to a Chinese report released Thursday. DigiTimes, citing the Chinese-language Apple Daily, mentioned that Apple is in talks with Inventec, Wistron and its primary partner Foxconn.
Lower margins a concern for manufacturers
Earlier, there were rumors that the new watch would be launched in the second quarter of 2016, but the Daily suggests it will be available after the second quarter. Quanta has made big investments in equipment for the device, but the profits it is making are lower than expected, which is a major concern for candidates.
The report claims that initially Apple planned to order 6 million watches for the December quarter but later scaled that number back to 4 million owing to softer sales. The Daily expects Apple Watch sales to exceed 10 million by the end of fiscal 2015. Apple has not disclosed any official figures yet.
Not much is known about the next-gen device, but some reports hint at better battery life, an improved display and support for pebble-style “smart” bands. Many customers have been requesting built-in GPS, but there are chances that it won’t be there as it drains a lot of power.
Apple Watch charging dock soon
Meanwhile, there are reports that Apple is working on an in-house docking solution for charging the watch. The dock has been called the Magnetic Charging Dock, claims a report from French site iGeneration. The dock is circular in shape and provides support to the Apple Watch in two orientations.
The dock can be laid flat over the top in portrait mode or on its side in landscape mode, which is useful for Nightstand mode. There will be a Lightning cable with the Magnetic Charging Dock. No USB power adapter is included in it. The price on the packaging is mentioned as €89, which means that its U.S. price will be $79.
At $79, the dock is more expensive than Apple’s iPhone dock, but it has a more complicated design with support for both portrait and landscape charging. As of now, there is no information about when the dock will go on sale, but the packaging signals a release soon.