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iWatch: Apple reportedly hiring new talent to tackle design problems

Apple iWatchApple is reportedly in the midst of an “aggressive” hiring spree for its iWatch project as it seeks out talent to help overcome design issues with its wearable tech, a Financial Times report said Sunday.

According to those “familiar with Apple’s plans for the wearable device”, the taking on of new talent started in the last few weeks in an effort to tackle “hard engineering problems that [existing staff] have not been able to solve.”

Earlier this year the Cupertino company was said to have a team of around 100 product designers working on the device and that it was “beyond the experimentation phase in its development”.

The FT’s source also suggests that because of the ongoing challenges, the high-tech wristwatch may not hit the market until the latter half of next year, by which time rival companies such as Samsung could already have a similar device on the market.

The FT’s contact isn’t the only one to claim that an Apple smartwatch will be appearing later rather than sooner. In May, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s been pretty accurate in the past when forecasting the tech company’s product plans, said that hardware and software issues connected with the iWatch mean the wearable tech is most likely to make it to consumers’ wrists in the latter half of 2014.

Of course, there’s been no official word from Apple about the existence of the so-called iWatch, though in recent weeks it emerged that the tech giant has started to register the ‘iWatch’ trademark in several countries around the world.

Wearable tech appears to have become the central focus of a slew of tech companies in recent months, with competition in the space expected to grow increasingly intense in the coming months and years.

As far as the smartwatch is concerned, Samsung has already stated it’s working on such a device, while Google is rumored to be developing one as well. With the PC market in decline, Dell is also looking into wearable tech, with Sam Burd, its global vice-president of personal computing, saying recently that the idea of a smartwatch is “pretty appealing”.

Of course, several companies are already selling wrist-based computers, with Pebble for one making a name for itself early on following a Kickstarter campaign last year that proved a big hit with backers. The company recently struck a deal with retail giant Best Buy to sell the watch at its stores. Last week Pebble boss Eric Migicovsky said pre-orders for its device had exceeded 275,000 in the space of six months, suggesting the smartwatch market is ripe for harvesting.

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