Defective Taptic Engine slows Apple Watch production, claims report

One supplier’s botched results might’ve held up a lot of deliveries

Order an Apple Watch right now and it’ll be at least a month before you receive the smartwatch; even day one pre-orderers faced similar waits. And it may not be solely an issue of demand, as a report claims a manufacturing defect may be partially to blame.

The Wall Street Journal reports that faulty Taptic Engine parts have slowed production, with one of the two manufacturers producing the crucial component turning out defective parts. The Taptic Engine, of course, delivers the subtle haptic pulses that alert you to notifications and the like.

None of the affected Watch units actually reached consumers, it says, so don’t worry about buying a defective device (for this reason, at least). However, Apple had to hold back some completed Watches once the issues was discovered, which surely backed up production lines and no doubt cost the companies a fair amount of money, as well.

Only one of the suppliers - AAC Technologies Holdings in China - had issues with some of its parts, while second company Nidec Corp. in Japan reportedly had no issues with its batches. The latter is reportedly taking over all production now, but ramping that up to match demand takes time.

It’s not known how many Watches were scrapped because of this issue, or if it’s a significant contributor to current wait times. However, it’s an interesting wrinkle in the Apple Watch release saga, and a reminder that even when new devices connect with consumers, there may be technical stumbling blocks behind the scenes.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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