The Wall Street Journal is reporting that one of the makers of the taptic engine — the component that makes the Apple Watch vibrate — was shipping flawed product, leading to the short supply of product at launch.
AAC Technologies Holdings, of Shenzen, China, was the supplier of the troublesome part, the WSJ reported. Apple moved manufacturing to the other supplier, Nidec Corp., and told other component makers to slow production until June. It makes no sense, after all, to have a ton of pieces on hand for a product when a key component is being slow to arrive.
It’s not clear, the Journal acknowledges, whether problems with the taptic engine is at the root of the famously short supply of Apple Watches, if it truly is a matter of demand outstripping supply, or if it’s a question of Apple orchestrating shortages for the sake of marketing. Or, as seems most likely, it is some combination of the three, and Apple — master of both the supply chain and event marketing — elected to make the best of a bad situation and, rather than further delay an anticipated product, used the shortage to create buzz.
No one, of course, is commenting substantively.