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Apple supplier Quanta is said to be preparing for the debut of a new Apple Watch by the end of the second quarter of 2016, which would place its launch slightly later in the year than the first-generation model.
Details on the launch window for the next-generation Apple Watch were apparently shared by Quanta Chairman Barry Lam, according to China's United Daily News. Lam allegedly said that he expects Apple Watch shipments to grow considerably next year, thanks to upgraded hardware and software that will launch by June 2016.
This year, the first Apple Watch launched in April with limited supplies, though Apple quickly improved availability and distribution. The product lineup was expanded in September to include new color options and bands.
A launch for "Apple Watch 2" before the end of the second quarter of 2016 would place it as late as June, or a few months after this year's April debut. The UDN report was first discovered on Friday by G for Games.
The alleged statements from Lam were brought up during Quanta's earnings call, but the company declined to comment, according to DigiTimes. However, company vice chairman CC Leung did say that it expects shipments of wearable devices could double in 2016.
Quanta is currently expanding its capacity to assemble new products, and investors believe the bulk of that expansion will be focused on the Apple Watch.
Rumors suggested that Quanta was originally the sole supplier for Apple Watch manufacturing. But alleged production issues were said to have allowed rival assembler Foxconn to muscle its way in to production of the wearable device.
Rumors about the so-called "Apple Watch 2" have been light thus far, with one report in July suggesting the second-generation model will look exactly the same as the current version, but will boast a larger internal battery. It was also suggested that the new Watch will improve outdoor visibility.
Other questionable rumors have claimed that Apple could be working on new "smart bands" that will enhance functionality of current models without requiring users to update to entirely new hardware. The Apple Watch has a hidden data port within one of its strap attachment grooves.