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iWatch development reportedly hit by battery, display and manufacturing issues

Development of Apple’s expected iWatch is apparently presenting the tech giant’s engineers with a series of unexpected challenges, suggesting its release is still some way down the road.

Although it could still appear later this year, a report from The Information claims “a few apparent setbacks” have up to now been a source of concern for the Cupertino company as it seeks to develop a smartwatch it hopes can make an impact in the wearable tech space.

So what exactly is troubling the boffins at Apple? According to the news site, the design team is having a hard time deciding on a screen technology for the device, a problem apparently related to battery issues.

Presumably this means the displays the team has experimented with so far have been too power hungry. Launching a smartwatch with decent battery life is one of the major challenges facing all manufacturers building such a device, with Apple reportedly keen to create a high-tech watch that can offer at least four days of use on a single charge.

Another hint that things are not going as smoothly as they might comes with The Information’s claim that Apple ended advanced prototyping of the iWatch with an unnamed manufacturer just a few months ago.

Finally, the project is likely to have been impacted to some extent by the loss of an important member of the iWatch development team, Bryan James, who recently left the tech company for home automation firm Nest.

Of course, snags and challenges are par for the course when it comes to developing any new piece of kit, but the fact that some had expected Apple to launch its iWatch last year could point to bigger-than-expected problems with its development.

However, with a team of more than 100 reported to be working on the device, and Apple able to hire some of the world’s top talent, we certainly aren’t about to see the tech titan throw in the towel on its much-anticipated iWatch. But with a slew of companies pulling the wraps of a variety of headline-grabbing smartwatches and other wearable tech at this week’s CES, Apple won’t want to leave it too long till launch day.