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 6
Tag: wsj.com
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

macsplusmacs Avatar
80 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
80 months ago
I'm sure this is somehow Angela Ahrendts' fault. :rolleyes:
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
80 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
80 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
80 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
80 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)

Top Stories

macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Apple Updates Dark Sky Weather App With Apple Watch Improvements and More

Tuesday June 22, 2021 11:58 am PDT by
Apple today updated the Dark Sky weather app for the first time since November with improved VoiceOver support and other bug fixes and performance improvements. In addition, Dark Sky complications on the Apple Watch now update more frequently. The full release notes for Dark Sky version 6.8.6:• Improved VoiceOver support • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently •...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms

Wednesday June 23, 2021 5:07 am PDT by
Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other...
iOS Spam Calendar Feature

iCloud Users Continue to Be Plagued by Calendar Spam

Monday June 21, 2021 8:51 am PDT by
Despite previous attempts to put the situation at rest, some iCloud users continue to experience spam calendar invitations, causing their calendars to be filled with random events. The situation received widespread coverage in 2016, where Apple said that it was "actively working to address this issue" by "identifying and blocking suspicious senders." Victims are targeted in various ways. The ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

iPhone 13 Dummy Models Depict Repositioned Camera Modules

Wednesday June 23, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
New alleged dummy models of the upcoming iPhone 13, shared by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter, depict a modified camera layout on the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with two lenses in a diagonal arrangement rather than the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 12 models. The dummy models generally line up with iPhone 13 schematics previously seen by MacRumors, which showed that the ...
iphone 13 yellow

TrendForce: iPhone 13 Lineup Will Remain Limited to Maximum 512GB of Storage

Monday June 21, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple will likely unveil its next-generation "iPhone 12s" or "iPhone 13" lineup in around two and a half months from now, and ahead of time, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce has outlined its expectations for the devices. A summary of TrendForce's expectations:Apple will unveil four new iPhones in September, including a mini model, a standard model, and two Pro models. September is the...