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No Defective Apple Watches Reached Consumers

Problems with the watch's "taptic engine" were discovered in quality assurance testing.


Apple identified a flaw in a critical component of its Apple Watch before any of them were shipped to consumers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The part, known as the taptic engine, produces a subtle tap on the wrist to alert the wearer of an incoming message or other notification. Quality assurance testing revealed that some of these components supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings in Shenzhen, China, would break over time, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Apple has shifted production to a second supplier, Japan’s Nidec, which didn’t experience this problem, according to the Journal.

“I believe no faulty Apple Watches were shipped to consumers,” said Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy. “I don’t think this is damaging at all.”

The defect with the taptic engine, which uses a motor that slides a small rod back and forth to create a vibration, could explain the product’s initial supply constraints.

The Apple Watch represents Apple’s first new product category since the 2010 introduction of the iPad. The Cupertino technology giant has been working to build anticipation for months before its April 24 retail launch, with glossy magazine promotions and executive profiles placed with influential publications.

Apple adopted an unusual retail strategy for the new device, which was made available initially through online orders and a handful of high-end boutiques. Retail chief Angela Ahrendts said, in a video for employees, that the company opted for this approach because of the high global demand and limited initial availability of the Apple Watch.

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