This article is more than 1 year old


Cupertino idiot-tax operation junks duff throbbless jazzbangles

Apple scrapped a whole batch of Apple Watches after finding a fault with the wristjob's vibrating Taptic Engine, say reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "people familiar with the matter" have said that 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."

WSJ add that "One of those people said Apple scrapped some completed watches as a result."

Scrapping products is an especially unwelcome prospect for the fruity folk, who are facing stock shortages as it is – although it seems as if a recall will be unnecessary as WSJ suggest there has been no indication that Tim Cook's teenagers shipped any watches with the defective part to customers.

The Taptic Engines provided by the second supplier, Japan's Nidec Corp., continue to function without any problems, said the source. "Apple has moved nearly all of its production of the component to Nidec [...] but it may take time for Nidec to increase its production."

The faulty Taptic Engines are not the only hardware issue to have arisen in regards to the smartwatch. iFixit's teardown showed that the timepiece was, unlike most watches, likely to be obsolete within ten years and had little room for upgrades. Alongside that, it is shipping with a pulse sensor which has less of a tolerance for tattoos than the Police Constable Recruitment Board.

Though a defective Taptic Engine would probably do nothing more than make the watch sit still upon your wrist without, well, tapping you, it is part of a package Cupertino describes, along with "subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver," as enabling "some entirely new, intimate ways for you to communicate with other Apple Watch wearers."

Heartbeat sharing apps are a fairly common line in the wristjob's marketing blurbs. Cupertino have banned smartwatch apps which can tell the time.

WSJ again cites "people familiar with the matter" as saying Apple is considering adding a second assembler of the Watch, to supplement Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc. Foxconn, the main assembler of the iPhone, recently started tests to see if it could handle production of the wristjob.

"Even if the process goes smoothly, it may take several months for factories to be running at full capacity. Foxconn isn’t expected to start manufacturing the Watch until late 2015 at the earliest," the famous "people familiar with the matter" told the WSJ.

Apple has not returned The Register's requests for comment at this time. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like