The Apple Watch supply constraint has been reportedly caused by faulty Taptic Engine component.
The first wave of Apple Watch units was basically sold out within minutes of the pre-order start. Most orders will ship next month and new orders will start shipping in June. The supply constraint was not caused by underestimated demand says a new Wall Street Journal report. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple was facing issues with the Taptic Engine component.
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Apple found in reliability testing after the mass production started that the Taptic engine made by Chinese AAC Technologies Holding is breaking down over time. Apple took the produced Apple Watches with the faulty part out of the supply.
Apple's other Taptic engine producer, Japan based Nidec Corp., did not have these quality issues. Apple had to scramble and move all Taptic engine production to Nidec, but that of course led to dramatic supply constraints.
The WSJ report also mentions that Apple told Apple Watch suppliers to slow down production until June. Apple did not give a reason. Given the shipping delays, this does not sound right. Unless Apple is changing something on current Apple Watch, which is though very unlikely.
About the Apple Watch
Apple Watch introduces a new design and iOS-based user interface created specifically for a smaller device. Apple Watch features the Digital Crown, a new way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. The Digital Crown also serves as the Home button and a quick way to access Siri. The Retina display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to access controls within Apple Watch apps.
The Apple Watch introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel. Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip. Apple Watch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone. Besides the smart watch features the Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard when synching regularly with the iPhone.
The Apple Watch starts at $349 for the small case (38mm) Sport Edition. The Apple Watch Pre-order started on April 10 in 9 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US) and the Apple Watch started to ship on April 24.
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