Apple has gone on a hiring spree for its iWatch effort, suggesting it needs additional expertise to address design issues, The Financial Times reported Sunday.
The gadget maker has been "aggressively" hiring new employees in recent weeks to work on developing the wearable computing device, suggesting the project involves "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve," sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper. The timing suggests the much-rumored smart wristwatch won't be available to consumers until late next year, the sources said.
CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
Interest in wearable computers has swelled in recent months as reports announced that Apple was creating a smartwatch that would run on its iOS mobile operating system. Employees from Apple's marketing, software, and hardware units who had worked on the iPhone and iPad are reportedly part of a team that numbered more than 100 as of earlier this year.
During an interview at the D11 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he finds wearable computing "profoundly interesting," but that "you have to convince people it's so incredible you want to wear it." Cook pointed out that most young people don't wear watches, so it would be the company's job to make them appealing.
That may be the very goal for Paul Deneve -- the former CEO of luxury fashion company Yves Saint Laurent -- another recent Apple employee who was hired to focus on "special projects."