Just hours after the long-awaited Apple Watch’s orders went live on April 10, would-be customers learned that some models were not available for shipment on April 24 as initially promised, and wouldn’t be sent out until June.
Apple has not revealed many details about why the delay occurred. About a week after the online launch, a leaked memo from Apple’s head of retail, Angela Ahrendts, described the bottleneck simply as: “High global interest combined with our initial supply.” Fast-forward another week, and CEO Tim Cook said only that: “Right now the demand is greater than the supply.”
A Wall Street Journal report (paywall) now lays blame for the delay on Shenzhen-based manufacturer AAC Technologies. AAC is one of two companies that produce the watch’s so-called taptic engine, a tiny piece of technology that creates a tapping sensation used to deliver alerts to the wearer. Following mass production of the Apple Watch in February, tests found that some of the engines it produced broke down over time, the Journal reports.
Neither AAC nor the second manufacturer of taptic engines for the watch, Japan’s Nidec Corporation, have issued statements about the newspaper’s report, and Quartz’s request for information has gone unanswered. But investors are not pleased; shares in AAC fell by as much as 8% after the Journal’s story ran.