Digitimes is reporting that Apple’s iWatch production yield is reportedly less that 50 percent, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. This poor yield is attributed to difficulties applying surface treatments on their metal injection molded (MIM) chassis, the report said.
“The MIM process is often used in the mass production of high-precision products with complicated industrial designs as it allows components to feature special shapes, but still maintain rigidness,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai writes for Digitimes. “MIM-made components used to be used inside products, but as the components are now becoming part of the external design, surface treatments have become an important process for the look of products.”
Apple is widely expected to release a smartwatch device this year.
The iPhone maker is seeking protection for the name, which is listed in a category for products such as a handheld computer or watch, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office that was made public last week.
Image of Apple’s smartwatch patent application published by USPTO