Apple has begun hiring in earnest for its much-rumoured Apple Watch project, according to a recent report, which also claims that the smartwatch project has slipped to a late 2014 launch window.
The Financial Times claims that "Apple has embarked on a hiring spree" for its wearable smartwatch concept, which people are calling the Apple Watch at this early stage.
According to the report this is because Apple's existing team is struggling to solve a number of "hard engineering problems" with the Apple Watch device. Indeed, it's claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook could still opt to scrap the Apple Watch idea if insufficient progress is made.
This would appear unlikely, however, as the report claims that the Apple Watch has moved beyond an initial exploratory phase. There are now "several dozen employees" actively dedicated to the product's development.
Apple has even been trademarking the term 'iWatch' in various countries around the globe.
A bigger concern than 'if' appears to be 'when.' Given this new bout of hiring for the iWatch project, it suggests that the product's release could still be some way off.
According to the report, Apple could still be more than a year away from announcing the Apple Watch. It could come during the "latter part of next year," say people familiar with Apple's thinking.
One confirmed major hire that many people have seen as a direct contribution to the Apple Watch project is that of Paul Deneve, ex-Yves Saint Laurent CEO. Rather than give Deneve a full job title, Apple simply states that he is working on "special projects," which points to a certain wearable smart device.