Today, DigiTimes (via MacRumors) claims that Apple's long awaited wearable is facing issues involving surface finish treatments for the device. Reportedly, Apple and Qualcomm are both searching for ways to improve the chassis of the device using metal injecting molding (MIM).
Several wearable devices such as Apple's iWatch and Qualcomm's Toq are reportedly seeing less than 50% yield rates due to difficulties applying surface treatments on their metal injection molded (MIM) chassis, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The MIM process is often used in the mass production of high-precision products with complicated industrial designs as it allows components to feature special shapes, but still maintain rigidness.
MIM-made components used to be used inside products, but as the components are now becoming part of the external design, surface treatments have become an important process for the look of products.
Since clients have high demand over quality, and also need high volumes of supply, most component makers are having difficulties satisfying both of requirements.
MIM offers greater precision for molding shapes, and also has a higher strength, hardness, elasticity and corrosion resistance compared to typical metals. In addition to Apple, Sony, Samsung, Pebble, Casio, Nike, Adidas, Epson and LG are all gearing up to launch their own wearable device in 2014