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iWatch production delayed until November, says analyst

Ming-Chi Kuo blames delay on challenges created by new hardware and software development.

Apple's iWatch should look a lot better than this illustration. CNET

Apple's iWatch will enter mass production in November, according to a research note issued Thursday by noted KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, later than previously predicted.

While earlier reports had predicted that the smartwatch would go launch as early as October, Kuo's note said the revised prediction was the result of challenges created by new hardware and software development.

"We have pushed back our estimated time of iWatch mass production from late-September to mid-/ late- November. We also lower our forecast of iWatch 2014 shipments by 40% to 3mn units," Kuo wrote in a note obtained by 9to5mac.

The so-called iWatch, which Apple has not officially announced, will have a display likely measuring 2.5 inches diagonally, according to a Reuters report last month that indicated the smartwatch would go into production this month, with launch coming as early as October.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Kuo note also offered some isight into what he expected the much-rumored smart watch to inlcude, such as a flexible AMOLED with sapphire-covered glass, high waterproof standards, and new system-on-a-chip components. While most of those hardware predictions have been making the rounds for a couple of months, the waterproof standard suggests the company is planning to incorporate fitness functionality.

If Apple does indeed launch a smartwatch, it will be joining a crowded field. Samsung, Sony, and LG have already pushed out their own watches that allow users to track their fitness, receive notifications, and access apps.

But Apple could shake up the smartwatch market with a device that outshines rival products. Beyond pairing with your iPhone, an Apple iWatch reportedly would serve as a health and fitness tracker by tapping into an iOS 8 app called Healthbook.