Unless you bought an Apple watch minutes after pre-orders went live on April 10, you likely didn’t get a unit on launch day. And while some orders are going to go out earlier than anticipated, availability of Apple’s smartwatch is still limited. Now we may have an idea of why that is.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal claims that after mass production of the Apple Watch began in February, Apple discovered that some units had faulty Taptic Engines that would break down after a while. As a result, Apple ended up tossing many complete Watches. Apple was originally getting Taptic Engines from both AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. and Nidec Corp., but since the faulty Taptic Engines were discovered to have come from AAC, Apple has moved nearly all of its production to Nidec.
The Taptic Engine inside of the Apple Watch is the part that will tap the wearer’s wrist when a notification comes in. In combination with sound, it increases the odds of a wearer being alerted to a notification, or you can use it as your sole alert if you turn your Apple Watch’s sound off.
It’s not know how much of an effect these faulty Taptic Engines have had on the Apple Watch’s launch, but this discovery could have an effect on its future availability. Rather than having two suppliers create an important component like the Taptic Engine, Apple now has to rely on a single supplier for the component. Considering how big of a product the Watch is for Apple, you can bet that it's working like crazy to figure out a solution to its Taptic Engine situation.
Apple isn’t commenting on this report of faulty Taptic Engines, saying only that it’s working to fill orders and that it appreciates consumers’ patience.