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.

Apple Watch a hit on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

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Shannon Stroh, of Plymouth, Minn., tries on a Apple Watch at the downtown Chicago store. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Shannon Stroh, of Plymouth, Minn., tries on an Apple Watch at the downtown Chicago store. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

CHICAGO — It didn’t matter that Mel Torgusen had already ordered her Apple Watch at 2 a.m.

She still had to be at the Apple Store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at 10 sharp — just to touch one.

“Ever since the announcement, I’ve been counting down the days,” said Torgusen, standing at one of a dozen stations the store had set up for prospective buyers to try the watch. “I’m an Apple person and I didn’t need to try it on to know I’d want one.”

A steady stream of the curious and devoted filed into the store Friday for the big Apple Watch preview. There were about 20 people who had signed up for the early appointments lined up outside the store when the doors opened. Others who did not schedule appointments for a personal tour went past a showcase of watches, then quickly registered for private showings.

Apple Watch launch set for April, Tim Cook reveals

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Apple Watch will ship in April, according to Tim Cook. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

During today’s historic Apple earnings call, Tim Cook dropped a subtle bomb on Apple fans by revealing that the Apple Watch is slated to launch in April.

“I’m using it every day and I love it and I can’t live without it,” Cook said.

While he didn’t give a specific release date for the wearable, it’s the first time Apple’s narrowed down the launch beyond “early 2015.” Cook said Apple considers “early” to be sometime within the first four months of the year, so the Apple Watch is right on target.