Rumor: Apple Watch rollout slowed by faulty Taptic Engine component

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Date: Thursday, April 30th, 2015, 07:24
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, Rumor, Wearables


This may be part of the reason for the delay/long shipping time for your Apple Watch.

A report on Wednesday claims Apple discovered a serious flaw in certain vibrator mechanisms that power Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine, prompting completed units to be scrapped just prior to launch.

Citing sources close to the story, a Wall Street Journal report stated that an unknown number of haptic feedback motors built by AAC Technologies Holdings broke down during reliability testing shortly after mass production of the Apple Watch kicked off in February. AAC Technologies has functioned as the primary supplier for the the feedback motors.

The report also matches statements released by respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who earlier alluded to restricted supply numbers from AAC Technologies.

Since discovering the flaw, Apple has moved nearly all production to its second supplier, Japanese company Nidec Corp. It is unclear how long it will take Nidec to ramp up manufacturing to equalize the deficit.

Sources said Apple instructed certain Apple Watch suppliers to slow production until June without offering further explanation.

The Taptic Engine is powered by a custom linear resonant actuator that produces small vibrations by moving a mass back and forth along a single axis. Unlike rotating mass vibrators commonly used in older cellphone applications, LRAs can be manipulated to provide users with different sensations, from light taps to strong continuous rumbles.

Apple is reportedly considering adding another assembler to help current partner Quanta Computer. Sources said Foxconn recently began Apple Watch production testing, though the firm is not expected to begin manufacturing until late 2015.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal

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