Apple has reportedly carried out 3D printing trials for some of its future watch manufacturing.
The tech giant has recently done so for the steel casing of the Apple Watch 9, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The 3D printing process has been in the works for several years, according to the outlet, which attributed the information to unnamed sources.
FOX Business reached out to Apple for comment on the Bloomberg report.
The upcoming Series 9 of Apple’s smartwatches has not yet been officially announced by the iPhone maker. The Apple Watch Series 8 debuted in 2022.
Bloomberg pegged the percentage of all Apple Watch units that have stainless steel casings at roughly 10%. Aluminum reportedly serves as the metal for a majority of them.
The company wants the manufacturing of Ultra models of the Apple Watch with titanium cases to involve 3D printing next year, per Bloomberg.
In the future, other devices could reportedly see the technique brought to their production. That will depend on how it pans out with the upcoming Apple Watches, according to the outlet.
The use of 3D printing for the steel chassis would help boost efficiency in the manufacturing process, Bloomberg reported. It also involves less metal, something that would reportedly have environmental advantages.
Many have projected the announcement of Apple Watch 9 will take place at the tech giant’s rapidly-approaching “Wonderlust” event. At the same time, the widely anticipated iPhone 15 could also get an introduction.
Earlier in the week, Apple scheduled Sept. 12 as the date of “Wonderlust,” this year’s iteration of its annual September event. Last year’s happened Sept. 7.
Apple’s smartwatches fall under the company’s wearables, home and accessories segment.
For the third quarter, that segment’s net sales came in at $8.28 billion. Compared to those reported in the same three-month time frame last year, they represented a lift of nearly 2.5%.
Apple CFO Lucas Maestri said in early August, when the company put out its latest quarterly results, that the wearables, home and accessories division posted a “June quarter record” in greater China and showed “strong performance in several emerging markets.”
“We continue to see Apple Watch expand its reach with about two-thirds of customers purchasing an Apple Watch during the quarter being new to the product,” he told analysts and investors. “And this is combined with very high levels of customer satisfaction, which was recently reported at 98% in the United States.”