back to article Apple needs help: iWatch, 'Retina' iPad mini delayed until 2014?

Fanbois may need to revise this year's holiday shopping plans: Apple's long-anticipated iWatch appears to be slipping behind schedule, and so is the "Retina display" iPad mini. A pair of reports say that neither will appear until next year. London's Financial Times reported on Sunday that Apple has been hiring "aggressively" …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First mover advantage??

    Since when did the iPad or iPhone enjoy a first mover advantage in the tablet computer/smartphone markets?!

    It's a testament to Apple's ingenuity and creativity that the author (and most other people) can't really remember the crappy, mature products that were tablet computers and smartphones pre-Apple.

    Likewise, Sony and other companies have been making smart watches for years.

    What Apple has done in the past is revolutionized existing markets (MP3 players, smartphones, tablet computers) and there's no reason why they can't do this with smart watches, regardless of if it's next year or in 10 years.

    1. Homer 1
      Paris Hilton

      Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

      As much as I like having smartphone technology, the bit I like about it most is the fact that, when I'm finished using it, I can hide it in my pocket. Strapping it to my wrist, like 21st century bling, is about the most naff thing imaginable.

      Then there's the screen size, which will necessarily be very small, and thus generally unusable for any purpose other than telling the time, which you could do with a far classier real watch that doesn't make you look like a dick.

      There's a reason nobody wears calculator watches any more: they grew up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

        How very sentimental - bet you prefer a pocket watch on a chain and candles are a great way to light a house.

        1. Homer 1

          Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

          "bet you prefer a pocket watch"...

          No, I just don't want to look like a dick, and prefer something with a bit of class.

      2. Tom 38

        @Homer 1

        You make good points - however, if I think back to pre-iphone days, I didn't want a fucking SMARTPHONE, those things are shite, dire battery life, so slow and yet still so expensive to use the internet, apps are launched by using a stylus to navigate through WFW-style folders, and have ridiculous scroll bars on the side of its "windows".

        I was much happier back then with a "really cool" clamshell phone, made me feel like Kirk. It had a 3 line alphanumeric screen and you could make calls on it.

        The point is, sometimes things change. I don't even currently wear any watch, but a year before I bought an iphone, I didn't even use a smartphone.

        1. Homer 1

          Re: "things change"

          Yes, but I'm not complaining about technological progress, I'm complaining about the naffishness of wearing it like it was costume jewellery. Wearing a silly iGizmo is an entirely different proposition to merely using it.

          One might as well abandon the last vestiges of dignity and get a Spock haircut, start wearing a Star Trek uniform in public then walk around pointing a toy phaser at passers-by whilst shouting; "We come in peace, shoot to kill!". Seriously.

          It's not that I'm a Luddite, I just don't want to look like a dick.

      3. SmarterThanTheAverageBear

        Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

        "There's a reason nobody wears calculator watches any more: they grew up."

        But we're talking iUsers, here.

      4. Robert Forsyth

        Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

        Also the fashion is to dress less flashy in times of economic downturn.

      5. DaneB

        Re: "Revolutionising" ... watches?

        Too right.

        It's the same deal with Google Glass. There's a big difference between using a device and wanting to wear the thing. So all those ladies who like their iPhones are going to want to wear an Apple branded watch? BS.

        What's the big deal with a watch anyway? Oh, annoyingly small screen I can peer at to read my emails?

        Red herrings all round.

    2. LarsG

      Re: First mover advantage??

      The report is just a way to garner interest, the leaks are the kind that tries to make Apple show its hand.

      The media hate the fact that Apple can play its cards so close to its chest and they are never able to truly break through all the secrecy. Instead a story about delays and problems is put out in the hope that it will damage the share price so much that Apple will have to announce something to refute the allegations.

      Come the Autumn, there will be iOS 7, probably a new iPad, probably a new iPhone, probably an iPad mini with retina and probably an announcement that the iWatch will be released in March 2014.

      Going on past reports no ne in the media has ever got it right unless Apple instigated the 'leak' for their own advantage.

      1. SmarterThanTheAverageBear

        Re: First mover advantage??

        A technology company playing its cards close to its chest:

        Next year we'll have another catch-up-with-newer-technology version of the iPad. Ditto iPhone. Just like we did last year. And the year before.

        But we're not going to tell you in advanced so you'll be bowled over and queue and queue and queue and squeal and squeal and squeal.

        (We're also thinking about a watch, but /really/ don't want to tell you about that in advance, because we know it might make people look like uncool iPrats).

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Moonshine

      Re: First mover advantage??

      "Since when did the iPad or iPhone enjoy a first mover advantage in the tablet computer/smartphone markets?!"

      Apple have occasionally set the scene for other manufactures:

      ...Retina Display? It was damn cool at the time, admit it.

      ...iTunes & Apps Store? Love'em or hate'em, it's set the landscape for Android and Windows.

      ...Round Corners? Ermm, there's another one.

      BTW I have switch to Android in the last 6 months (not a fanboi)

    5. SmarterThanTheAverageBear

      Re: First mover advantage??

      What they actually did was not launch iStuff until the batteries, CPUs, glass, wi-fi speeds were better than they used to be. And them launch it in a way that appeals to a certain sort of money-splashing gullibility.

      A sort of innovation, I suppose, in some people's eyes.

    6. Robert Forsyth

      Re: First mover advantage??

      In their HOME market

  2. Frumious Bandersnatch

    iPad maxi?

    Hmm... any news on whether that will be coming out in pink? You know---"for her."

    1. andreas koch
      Paris Hilton

      @ Frumious Bandersnatch - Re: iPad maxi?

      That's not funny. Period.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Frumious Bandersnatch - iPad maxi?

        >>That's not funny. Period.

        Yes it is.

      2. Homer 1
        Paris Hilton

        Re: @ Frumious Bandersnatch - iPad maxi?

        "That's not funny. Period."

        To the person who voted that down, I have just one word: "Woosh!".

        1. Toothpick

          Re: @ Frumious Bandersnatch - iPad maxi?

          You can have them in any colour. No strings attached.

          1. andreas koch

            @ Toothpick - Re: @ Frumious Bandersnatch - iPad maxi?

            Wireless, so to say; otherwise they'd probably called iPax.

            Which opens up a whole new world of wearables . . .

            Let's leave it there, shall we?

            I know they're supposed to be removed after some time, no need for further education on that subject. SCNR

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPad maxi?

      Buy a white one and wait ...

  3. Shane Sturrock

    A6 probably, not A5X or A6X

    There's no need for the 'X' type chips because those are built to drive a retina display (4x the pixels to move) so they'll likely put an A6 in if it continues to run with the 1024x768 display of the iPad1/2 and current mini.

    I'm not surprised they're struggling - many have asked why Apple can't do this and yet the Android tablets have higher resolutions than the iPad mini, but they don't have the number of pixels moving around in a mini size, in fact typically they have about half as many. Apple won't want a thicker heavier iPad mini sticking out a lot of heat as they had with the iPad 3 so they need to wait for denser batteries or more efficient CPU/GPU and displays to get there. Since the display is the biggest drain on the battery that is the limiting factor since a retina display needs a much brighter backlight. They probably need a new display technology to make it really work (IGZO?) and that would likely land on the full size iPad first.

    1. Mad Chaz

      Re: A6 probably, not A5X or A6X

      Being in a court battle with the people that actually provided most of the technology probably isn't helping either. Think we're starting to see what happens when the lawyers take over.

      1. ThomH

        Re: A6 probably, not A5X or A6X

        "Most of the technology" was supplied by FingerWorks, ARM and PowerVR.

        1. ThomH

          Re: A6 probably, not A5X or A6X

          No, I stand corrected. Based on a component costing over at Tech Insights, the key physical components in an iPhone 5 are:

          • the A6 processor; probably fabricated by TSMC or Samsung;

          • RAM from Elpida;

          • antenna switch and wifi/bluetooth wireless chips from Murata (incorporating a Broadcom component);

          • a Triquint power amplifier;

          • an Avago chip for LTE/UMTS/CDMA;

          • four separate parts from Skyworks for power amplification;

          • a Dialog Semiconductor power manager;

          • a Cirrus Logic audio codec;

          • accelerometer and gyroscope from STMicroelectronics;

          • further Broadcom components for the touchpad controller;

          • Qualcomm chips for further LTE stuff, DC-HSPA+, EV-DO, GSM, CDMA, etc and power management thereof;

          • a Texas Instruments touchscreen controller;

          • SanDisk flash; and

          • an RF Micro Devices antenna.

          How many of those companies are suing Apple or is Apple suing?

  4. Tom 35

    They don't have a chance...

    add to its 100-member iWatch team to tackle "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve...

    How to make a smart watch cool.

    I'm sure the same people who thought calculator watches were cool will like them but...

    1. Simon Smith 1

      Re: They don't have a chance...

      Hey... I resemble that remark! I thought calculator watches were *way cool*...

      ...mind you, I was seven at the time.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. GrumpyOldBloke

      How to make a smart watch cool.

      That's easy, it is worn on the wrist against the skin. It only needs to look half decent and send pleasing little signals into the body in response to state changes and it will sell like hot cakes. Add location based advertising or NFC - again with pleasing feedback in response to mindless consumption - and you have the value proposition. Also a much better place to put the Ministry of Information's mics and cameras than a bulky rectangle with rounded corners that is all to often stuck in a pocket or a bag.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They don't have a chance...

      Dunno, with the right case/bracelet design (maybe done by TAG, Omega, etc.?) and the right display technology (color e-ink?) maybe it could look stylish and good. The screen could be configured to resemble any sort of attractive analog watch.

      Although I wonder what the value-add would be. So far the current connected/"smart" watches indicate if you have unread text messages, emails, etc.

      I wonder how many of us want to be so connected that we need to know the exact second we get a new text message.

      Or maybe I'm hitting this from the wrong angle. Maybe this is for people who live in a house and don't want to carry their phone around with them all the time. Maybe a watch could connect to the phone over wifi and act as an extension...

      1. SmarterThanTheAverageBear

        Re: They don't have a chance...

        "The screen could be configured to resemble any sort of attractive analog watch."

        But can the wearer be configured to not resemble any sort of Richard-head?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They don't have a chance...

      "so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."

    6. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: They don't have a chance...

      >How to make a smart watch cool.

      This looks much the same as many other sports watches:

  5. shirokuma

    Check your sources

    Check your sources. DigiTimes is consistently wrong and they have no journalistic integrity in my opinion. DigiTimes is accurate only when they are reporting the obvious that anyone familiar with technology or the market can already guess. They frequently quote "sources" that are "close to Apple". This usually means they made it up. Financial Times' reputation is also faltering if they are relying on "people familiar with Apple's thinking". This is not investigative journalism. Uncovering what will be in Apple's next product release is not on par with uncovering graft and corruption. If you can't name your sources why should we believe you?

    1. Homer 1

      Re: Check your sources

      While I strongly endorse protecting whistle-blowers' identities, these vague, weasel-word claims ("people say") are just blatant marketing propaganda, not exactly a matter of national security or personal safety, so there's no legitimate reason for hiding the identity of the supposed "people" who "say" whatever nonsense is being claimed. Under those circumstances, the "claims" are clearly being fabricated by the reporter, who's no longer acting in the capacity of a journalist, but rather a covert promoter (i.e. shill, or conversely a hatchet man).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Cupertinian employees are applying for jobs at ... Google,..."

    So what. Anyone in the industry knows that people in the area/industry regularly change employer. Heck, I worked for Apple, Google and MSFT within one quarter but then I was a contractor - not a regular employee.

    I worked for Apple for a year and many people had worked for Google just a few months back and some were already thinking of moving on.

    Under all the ooh-shiny, the technical problems to solve are pretty much all the same regardless of what phone. OS, or whatever you're working on.

    The only difference is that maybe the chick-pickup-foo of the iphone etc was better. Not any more though.

  7. Richard 12 Silver badge

    If true, it's proof they've lost the plot

    Everybody knows that adding more people to a late engineering or software project makes it later.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There is a fundamental difference between owning the same phone as your mates and owning the same watch as your mates. Identical watches to the fashion conscious is akin to turning up to the same party wearing the same dress. Imagine a room full of people all wearing identical watches? Electronic tagging for the chic!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tagged

      Clearly you have never watched Star Trek.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: tagged

        You may have hit the nail on the head - the demographic for identical watches is probably the same as the one which wears Star Trek costumes to parties....

  9. Michael Jennings

    The third generation iPad - the first with retina display - is too heavy. It's uncomfortable to hold for too long, and you are prone to drop it because it is heavy. Also, it is thicker than the previous generation, which is unusual for an Apple device. Also, the retina display sucks up far too much of the computational power of the thing, which is why it is not notably faster at doing anything than the previous generation. The revised fourth generation model that Apple released six months later fixed the second of these problems with a faster SoC, but the heaviness problem remains. Presumably the revised fifth generation model that we will see in two or three months will fix the size and weight issues, but big compromises were made for that retina display.

    The whole reason why the iPad mini has been so successful is because it is so small and light compared to the big and heavy full size iPad. The last thing Apple wants to do is to lumber the mini with too much size and weight as they did the full sized iPad. Therefore, I have always been sceptical about seeing a retina mini this year. A second generation mini this year followed by a retina mini next year has been what I have been expecting all along.

  10. envmod

    don't do it apple

    fuck the iwatch man, will be a huge mistake for apple. i think wearable tech generally ain't gonna be the "next big thing" everyone thinks it is... beware!

  11. bag o' spanners

    A friend of mine designs high end gpus for phones, and the most frequent design issue his company faces is the compromise between looks and ruggedness. If a phone looks and feels gorgeous, and runs tickety boo from the word go, but erupts through the screen at the faintest hint of a ding, it's going to be sent back by the prototype testers as a "great idea, piss poor execution". At some point in the QA process, the release deadline will rear its ugly head, as will the cost of sourcing a more robust component.

    If your company's rep is built on the look and nebulous *coolness* of a product, can you afford to shortcut the QA process when the gizmo reaches the point of 10-15% projected returns per annum? Given the number of cracked screens I've seen on clamshell macs and iPhones over the years, I think Apple willingly take that risk, and happily swap out the busted chunk of coolness for a factory recon, in preference to a more robust, and therefore less "cool" design which might still cost them that 15% in R&D and retooling...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beat Up ?

    This post does seem like a bit of a beat up on Apple, popular with the fandroids I know but not very informative.

    For some months the general "knowledgeable" consensus has been that there will be a new iPad mini this year but that it will be lighter and faster but without a Retina rated display; retina will wait until the 2014 refresh when it can be done without compromising weight and battery performance.

    The Mini already has a better, denser (over 50% better) display than the iPad 1/2 (163 versus about 126 pixels per unit area), so the case for Retina is less compelling, although it is also less of a stretch to reach.

    And the iWatch, I don't think anyone quite knows what Apple has in the works, but I must say that I struggle to see quite how they will make a compelling device. That's possibly more a failure of my imagination though, I don't think the great majority of commentators really anticipated the iPhone and iPad phenomena either. Maybe Apple can assemble a compelling iWatch, at least it will be interesting to see what the can produce. Success is not guaranteed.

    1. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Beat Up ?

      The iWatch (surely iChronograph, iChrono, iPerpetual or iPeriod ) will be the first new product since Jobs.

      The first iPhone was just an iPod Touch with a phone, not even a smartphone, but it did make existing phone manufacturers stop and take stock when it took off. And some of the lesser manufacturers cargo-cult its features.

      As much as I like Ives, this recent design statement BS indicates Apple is lost.

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