Defective part slows Apple Watch rollout

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Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Problems with a key component appear to have slowed Apple Watch's launch. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch has been in short supply ever since its hype-filled launch, and a new report claims that it’s all the Taptic Engine’s fault.

Defects in the key Apple Watch component were found in the Apple’s supply chain, severely limiting early supplies of the wearable, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

No Apple Watch units have shipped with the faulty Taptic Engines, but the WSJ says some of the initial supply of the key component, which is made by two suppliers, was found to be defective, prompting Apple to limit availability of the highly anticipated new product.

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.

All the Taptic Engines from Apple’s supplier in China were found to be faulty. Luckily, Apple’s Japanese supplier came through with working parts or the entire launch might have been pushed back.

Apple Watch preorder shipping times were pushed back to June within minutes of the device being made available. Some orders have gone out earlier than expected, but a recent study found that more than 78 percent of preorders have still not been shipped.