Advertisement

Apple Watch delay partly due to defective part, sources say

A taptic engine in the watch, supplied by a Chinese manufacturer, broke down in Apple's testing of the watch, sources said.

By
Doug G. Ware
Apple has limited the availability of its new smartwatch due to technical problems discovered in some of the watches' taptic engines -- a part that notifies wearers of various alerts by vibrating the wrist. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Apple has limited the availability of its new smartwatch due to technical problems discovered in some of the watches' taptic engines -- a part that notifies wearers of various alerts by vibrating the wrist. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

CUPERTINO, Calif., April 30 (UPI) -- Apple's highly anticipated smartwatch has yet to see the success of past launches of other products, but part of the reason appears to be a defective part inside the device.

Marketwatch and the Wall Street Journal reported that a key component of the Apple Watch has been found to have trouble, citing sources with inside knowledge of the issue.

Advertisement

The defective part is called the taptic engine, which produces the sensation of a vibration on the wrist, which serves as a notification for the wearer. Apple employed two suppliers to produce the taptic engines, the report said.

After mass production began in February, Apple began a series of reliability testing with the devices. During the process, the company found that the engines made by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., of Shenzhen, China, started to break down over time, the sources said.

RELATED Apple Watch users allege wrist tattoo interference

As a result of the part's problem, Apple scrapped some of its completed watches -- which has added to the already complex launch.

RECOMMENDED Apple Watch users allege wrist tattoo interference

To fix the problem, Apple is relying on the other supplier, Japan's Nidec Corp., to produce all of the taptic engines -- since its parts have not experienced the same problem as those made by AAC, the reports said.

Advertisement

The parts' defect led Apple to limit the availability of the watches, which have been anticipated by tech-savvy consumers for months.

RELATED Apple Watch release underwhelms critics, shows early signs of trouble

The Cupertino, Calif.,-based company has not issued a recall as a result of the defect because none of the devices carrying AAC-supplied taptic engines have been shipped.

AAC Technologies declined to comment about the matter, the Journal report said.

RELATED Apple starts selling long-awaited, feature-laden 'smartwatch'

Latest Headlines