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  • Limited Supply of Apple Watches Reportedly Due to Taptic Engine Problems


    Image via iFixit

    The Apple Watch; it's Apple's latest gadget and works as an accessory to the iPhone, allowing what acts as a remote control relay from your wrist to perform actions directly from your iPhone as long as it in in Bluetooth range.

    The new gadget has been available to order for just under a week, and was originally made available for pre-order just over two weeks ago. Since then, a very small number of orderers have received their units while many continue to wait. Why? Ė Manufacturing issues are causing delays.

    We've known about the delays since last month, so the delays in shipping as a result of production problems are no surprise, but the question that has remained unanswered until today is what was actually causing the delays; what part of the manufacturing process is Apple having problems keeping up with?

    A new report from The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reveals that Apple's problem in manufacturing the Apple Watch in a timely manner has to do with "faulty" Taptic Engine units that can reportedly "break down" over time. This problem has caused Apple to have to re-make many of their Apple Watches to prevent shipping defective units to anxious customers.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wall Street Journal
    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.
    The Taptic Engine is the part of the Apple Watch that simulates the gesture of being 'tapped' on the wrist when you receive a notification. It's a type of haptic feedback that you can actually feel, as well as hear, when the notification sound is emitted.

    If you're still waiting on your Apple Watch, you're likely waiting on Apple to re-stock their faulty inventory of Apple Watches with non-faulty units. Remain patient and Apple will continue to ship out the various models in the order that they were ordered based on model.

    Sources: The Wall Street Journal via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Limited Supply of Apple Watches Reportedly Due to Taptic Engine Problems started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      So if I get one of these damn things it's going to "shock" me every time I get a notification?!?.. What does this "haptic" zap feel like, those of you who have your watches?
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
      So if I get one of these damn things it's going to "shock" me every time I get a notification?!?.. What does this "haptic" zap feel like, those of you who have your watches?
      I donít own one (yet) but according to apple press itís supposed to feel like someone gently tapping your arm. Thereís also an adjuster to set how powerful the tap is.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Yeah it feels like a light tap or flick on your wrist. It's not a zap. Take your iPhone, make it vibrate lightly on your wrist via the vibration settings, and that's what it'll feel like on your wrist.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Yeah it feels like a light tap or flick on your wrist. It's not a zap. Take your iPhone, make it vibrate lightly on your wrist via the vibration settings, and that's what it'll feel like on your wrist.
      I've had vibration turned off since the iPhone 2G.. As the first time I felt it it felt like a "shock"... Can't stand any of that stuff... I'm sure the Apple Watch let's you turn off that feature.. If not.. I'll never be buying one..
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
      I've had vibration turned off since the iPhone 2G.. As the first time I felt it it felt like a "shock"... Can't stand any of that stuff... I'm sure the Apple Watch let's you turn off that feature.. If not.. I'll never be buying one..
      The taptic feedback can be turned completely down so you don't feel a thing. But it's different from a "vibrate" per-se. If you look at the taptic engine from iFixit's teardown, you'll see how the device works. It's actually a miniature spring-loaded slap hammer that creates a noiseless pop on your wrist. It's similar to a vibration, but it's only for a fraction of a second to simulate a tap.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Thanks for the great explanation, Anthony. I'll try it at my Apple Store and see what it's like.