For a long, long time now it has been rumored that Apple is working on a smartwatch. So far the company itself hasn’t confirmed any plans of entering the wearable device market, but rumors continue to come in. It was initially expected for the smartwatch to be released in 2013, but the year has passed now and there’s still no indication if Apple intends to release it in 2014. The latest from infamous Taiwanese trade publication Digitimes claims that the iWatch is plagued with manufacturing issues. Yield rates in trial manufacturing are said to be as low as 50 percent.
Citing its usual supply chain sources, the publication claims that production issues are due to the difficulties faced by the manufacturer in “applying surface treatments to their metal injection molded (MIM) chassis.” The MIM process is generally used in mass production of high-precision products that have complex designs as the process allows components to be molded into special shapes without compromising on the strength and rigidity of the product itself. The report also claims that Qualcomm is facing the same manufacturing issue with the MIM process for its smartwatch, the Toq, a product that will only be offered in limited numbers and has already been announced.