Apple has embarked on a hiring spree to tackle design problems with its “iWatch” wrist computer, bringing in fresh expertise amid concern that the launch of its first new product since the death of Steve Jobs could be at least a year away.
The company has begun hiring “aggressively” for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple’s plans for the wearable device, a move that shows it has stepped up development but which raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology.
One senior member of the iWatch team, who had been considering leaving the company, decided to stay after being awarded a substantial pay increase, according to one source.
Apple is not the only company looking to recruit talent for wearable technology in Silicon Valley. Almost all of Apple’s rivals, including Google and Samsung, as well as start-ups such as Pebble and even PC manufacturer Dell, are working on smart watches or similar devices.