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Report mash-up: Apple to sell 65 million $269 iWatches in first year

And we still don't even know what the damn things will do

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The latest Apple iWatch rumors to come out of the cauldron of leaks and speculation that is the Far East say that Cupertino's manufacturing partner Quanta is slated to build 65 million of the li'l fellows in their first year of availability, and that the wristable whatever will ship in the third quarter of this year.

This "news" comes to the western world courtesy of the Taiwanese Economic Daily News, which wrote on Tuesday (Google Translate) that Quanta had been selected to produce 6,500萬支 of the devices, which the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes helpfully translated for us English speakers as 65 million.

The Economic Daily News also said, DigiTimes reports, that Apple will design the iWatch's application processor, and that said chip will be fabbed by arch-rival Samsung, which which Apple is now locked in a heated patent battle.

Nothing like a mutually beneficial manufacturing deal to transform enemies into frenemies, eh?

The iWatch rumor mill, of course, has been spinning merrily for quite some time. Last May, for example, The Reg published a rumor wrap-up that chronicled a story that had been around in some form as long ago as September 2000.

The "what" – or, for that matter, the "why" – of the iWatch has been the subject of as much speculation as the "when". Last August, it was revealed that Apple had hired a healthy-living expert who helped Nike develop their FuelBand activity monitor, sparking the idea that a similar product was under development in Cupertino's labs by the 100-member team under the watchful eye of Apple überdesigner Jony Ive.

This fitness focus was given more weight when Apple hired a pair of medical techies this January, and when the US Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application entitled "Wrist Pedometer Step Detection" the following month. Just this Monday, a Barclay's chip analyst wrote that Silicon Labs just might be supplying an ultraviolet light sensor for the long-rumored device to warn users of sunburn dangers.

These "does your body good" rumors, however, must contend with another wave of usage models, such as the reports last October that the iWatch would function as a home-automation controller. Both rumor families, however, could live comfortably in the home of yet another bit of speculation: that the iWatch would be wirelessly chargeable from up to a meter away.

That rumor, by the way, said that the Handgelenk Wunder would be released in October of this year, which would jibe with Tuesday's report by the Economic Daily News that Apple has asked supply-chain partners to deliver their products beginning this August. An earlier report had placed the iWatch release date in mid-2014 – but that ain't gonna happen.

If, indeed, the projection of 65 million devices being built in the first year is correct, and if the estimate by a Morgan Stanley analyst this February that the iWatch would haul in a cool $17.5bn in its first year is on the mark, that would place its price at $269.

A bit expensive, perhaps, for an as-yet-undefined bit of wrist-kit kitsch – but hey, it's Apple. ®

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