Supply-chain report suggests Apple Watch 2 launch alongside iPhone 7, ‘aggressive’ volumes

Supply-chain sources cited by the variously-reliable Digitimes suggest that Apple maybe gearing up to launch the second-generation Apple Watch alongside the iPhone 7, in September.

Shipments of chips and components for the second-generation Apple Watch are set to begin in the third quarter, the sources indicated.

The time-frame is of course vague, but component production sometime in the July to September range would be compatible with Apple launching the Watch with the iPhone 7. If the next iPhone is an iterative model, as widely expected, then a new Watch could give the launch event more punch.

The same report suggests that Apple may be hoping for a significant boost in sales …

Orders for the upcoming Apple Watch have been higher-than-expected, said the sources. Judging from the orders, the sources estimated that about two million units of the new Apple Watch could be shipped monthly.

Apple hasn’t revealed sales numbers for the first-generation Watch, though $100 discounts last year had indicated that they might be lower than expected. There has been no consensus on likely numbers to date, though a KGI estimate suggested they would bebelow 7.5M units this year. Production of 2M units a month would indicate that Apple is expecting a substantial boost in popularity from the next-generation model.

Part of that optimism may stem from the fact that watchOS 3 appears to have significantly boosted the usability of the platform, sluggish app opening and Glances replaced with a new dock of frequently-used apps opening almost instantly. Couple that to new hardware and the Watch could become a significantly more compelling device.

If the report is true, Apple wouldn’t be alone in its optimism: a recent forecast suggested that Apple could take home 40% of all watch sales (not just smartwatches) in the $350+ tier by 2020. However, it should be noted that the same source as this report had originally suggested a Q2 launch and low volumes. We’ll await corroborating reports before taking this one too seriously.


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