Apple Watch in Short Supply Due to Taptic Engine Bottlenecks

The Apple Watch has been available in extremely limited quantities since pre-orders for the device launched on April 10, and a new report from The Wall Street Journal sheds some light on why supplies have been low. A key component of the Apple Watch, the Taptic Engine, was made by two separate suppliers, and the devices created by one of Apple's suppliers were "found to be defective."

After mass production began in February, reliability testing revealed that some taptic engines supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., of Shenzhen, China, started to break down over time, the people familiar with the matter said. One of those people said Apple scrapped some completed watches as a result.

Apple was unable to use the Taptic Engines from the supplier in Shenzhen, China, but those produced by a second supplier in Japan did not have the same issue. The majority of Taptic Engine production is now being done in Japan, but it will take some time for the factory to increase production, and with a single supplier, quantities of the taptic engine available for use in Apple Watch devices likely remains low.

applewatchtrio
The Taptic Engine is a linear actuator, creating motion in a straight line by moving a small rod. It powers the haptic feedback capabilities of the Apple Watch, delivering the small taps that are felt on the wrist with notifications, pings from friends, heartbeats, and more. The Taptic Engine is a major part of the Apple Watch, working in conjunction with audio cues to deliver subtle alerts and notifications to Apple Watch wearers.

To resolve some of the supply constraints on the Apple Watch, Apple is said to be planning to add Foxconn as a second assembler of the Apple Watch, alongside Quanta Computer. Foxconn may begin manufacturing the Apple Watch in late 2015 at the earliest, so according to The Wall Street Journal, it may take several months for Apple Watch supplies to improve significantly.

Apple has repeatedly said that it's working to get Apple Watch orders as out as quickly as it can, and it has indeed been shipping orders out before their prospective delivery dates. Many customers who originally had 4 to 6 week shipping estimates have already begun receiving their devices.

Apple Watch orders placed today offer shipping estimates ranging into June and beyond, but it's possible that many orders will reach consumers ahead of that time as Apple works to increase available supply.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...

Top Rated Comments

macsplusmacs Avatar
121 months ago
I felt a great disturbance in the Force Touch, as if millions of watch orders suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
121 months ago
I'm sure this is somehow Angela Ahrendts' fault. :rolleyes:
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
121 months ago
Now will people stop crying about how Apple is screwing them over by waiting a little longer?



doubt it
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
121 months ago
Now will people stop crying about how Apple is screwing them over by waiting a little longer?



doubt it

They deliberately told one of their suppliers to make defective parts to make it look like there was high demand. /s
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryansimmons323 Avatar
121 months ago
Gruber's initial review (https://daringfireball.net/2015/04/the_apple_watch) unit had a broken Taptic Engine -

And without taps, Apple Watch is rather dull. The first unit I received from Apple seemingly had a hardware defect. Taps worked at first, but I found them surprisingly weak — so weak they were easy to miss, even with the watch strapped relatively snugly to my wrist. By the end of the first day, taps weren’t working at all. Apple sent me a replacement unit the next day, and it was like an altogether different experience.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
salamence502 Avatar
121 months ago
Can any of you read? The reason your watches haven't shipped yet is because Apple decided to ship you a working unit instead of a defective one (at least, without a defective Taptic Engine part).
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)