Rumors of an iOS watch with a flexible display has picked up steam recently when Bloomberg reported Apple has about 100 product designers working on the project. The size of such a team would suggest that Apple is beyond the experimentation phase and is in the development phase.
Bloomberg reported days later that Corning, the maker of the flexible Willow glass sees a 3 year wait on the flexible glass. Corning sent out samples of the flexible glass in June of 2012 to hardware manufactures, at the time the company hoped it would be available in products this year.
However, James Clappin, the president of Corning Glass Technologies, now believes it will take 3 years because “very big name” customers are not accustomed to glass you roll up.
Corning is not the only Apple supplier that has developed flexible glass. Han Sang-beom, LG Display’s CEO stated back in August of last year that they would be able to mass produce flexible OLED displays in the second-half of this year.
Apple could use LG Display to supply the screens or they could to use a curved glass in the first version of the iWatch instead of a flexible glass. The display would only need to curve slightly to get rid of any sharp edges.
Below are some concept photos that show an Apple watch with an OLED display with a narrow touch pad, a solar cell and volume controls.
I expect we will see the real iWatch from Apple much sooner than 3 years.