The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch’s chief component, the taptic engine, which was manufactured by one of the two main suppliers, was reportedly found to be malfunctioning during a quality test. As a result, the iPhone company has reduced the supply of its smartwatch and has claimed that its inventory is inadequate to meet demand, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Tight supply of Taptic Engine
The taptic engine is based on haptic technology and has been created to generate tapping sensations to attract a user’s attention. For functioning, it utilizes a custom linear resonance actuator responsible for producing back and forth motion along an axis. Such movement gives rise to a tapping stimulus, and can be controlled to impart various sensations to a user. Moreover, the engine mediates another feature that could be used to send heartbeat information to other users. The component is supplied to Apple by two main suppliers: a Chinese company known as AAC Technologies and Japan’s Nidec Corporation.
Apple claims big demand for Apple WatchJust after the Apple Watch mass production commenced in February, the taptic engines manufactured by AAC Technologies were observed to be faulty when subjected to a reliability test. Consequently, the iPhone company shifted almost all of the component’s production to Nidec, which was producing engines that were claimed to function perfectly, says the report. But it is expected that the company might take a while to increase production of the component. Also due to the flaw’s discovery, Apple has suggested that smartwatch suppliers restrict their production until June without providing any further details, according to The WSJ.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated that demand for the Apple Watch is exceeding its production. Also in a letter to store employees, the company’s retail manager, Angela Ahrendts, claimed that because of strong global demand, their retail stores will not receive more watches to sell until the end of May. Errors in production are not new for Apple, as it experienced a setback when the iPhone 4 was found to have antenna problems.
Apple started taking orders for its smartwatch on April 10 and only recently initiated its delivery. Since its release, the watch has experienced strong demand, and the company is looking to recruit another assembler for the product in addition to Quantum Computer.