Rumours that Apple will bring a smartwatch to market this year are wide of the mark, according to a tech-world mover and shaker.
Speculation that a so-called iWatch, which users can pair with their smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to access certain key features of their handset, could be about to debut initially surfaced earlier this year.
A leaked Apple patent filing suggested that the device would use wraparound flexible glass to help distinguish it from rivals, such as the staggeringly modish and equally staggeringly successful Pebble: E Paper watch.
But before you go adding the iWatch to your wants-list, stop a second. According to glass-maker Corning, whose flexible glass is tipped to feature in the iDevice, flexiglass technology is at such a nascent stage that it’s likely to be at least three years until it comes to market in gadgets as complex as a smartwatch.
Assuming he's on-the-money and not being deliberately obfuscatory on Apple's behalf, that leaves would-be iWatch owners facing a ruinously long wait to get their hands on said timepiece.
Corning head James Clappin did, however, claim that simpler kits with flexiglass could be on store shelves by the end of the year and that his company has been working with "very big name" customers to teach them how to handle the material.
He said: "People are not accustomed to glass you roll up. The ability of people to take this and use it to make a product is limited."
Clappin’s remarks come after it was reported elsewhere that work on the Apple watch was so advanced that the development team had grown to 100 staff. Prototype iWatches were also rumoured to be in testing across the tech giant’s California campus.