Apple Hires More Staff, But iWatch Still Set For Late 2014 Launch – Report


Apple bolstering engineering team with recruits, but it might not speed up development too much

Apple is hiring more staff to solve problems with the development of the iWatch, according to the FT, which says that the release of the heavily rumoured smartwatch could be more than a year away.

The iPhone manufacturer is widely believed to be working on a wearable device as it seeks to create new product lines as the smartphone and tablet markets become increasingly competitive.

It is understood that the company has between several dozen and one hundred staff working on the project, but it has apparently been hiring “aggressively” in recent weeks, raising questions about the current team’s ability to develop wearable technology.

Apple iWatch

Apple-iOS-6-ClockThis recruitment drive has also extended to exploring the possibility of acquiring a number of early-stage startups working on connected devices as Apple seeks to minimise the cost of hiring expensive engineering talent.

Apple has never officially confirmed the existence of the iWatch, but it has secured the rights to the trademark in a number of countries and CEO Tim Cook has previously expressed his enthusiasm for wearable technology.

However, any delay to its launch is likely to concern investors already worried about the company’s falling share price and its continued ability to innovate. Compounding this fear is the fact that most of Apple’s competitors are working on their own smartwatch.

The Sony Smartwatch 2 was announced last month, while Samsung and Google are also working on their own devices. The Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch has received more than 275,000 pre-orders ahead of its release.

Apple has managed to appease shareholders somewhat by returning £10.9 billion of its estimated £95 billion cash reserves to shareholders through a bond sale.

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