Quanta blames limited Apple Watch production on worker shortages

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited May 2015
Without mentioning the Apple Watch by name, the vice chairman of manufacturer Quanta Computer said on Friday that initial production of a client's wearable was limited because of workforce shortages, although his company has since caught up.




Quanta lacked sufficient manpower during February's Lunar New Year holidays, company executive C.C. Leung said, according to DigiTimes. This forced it to borrow labor from other manufacturers, and even so it was still limited in the amount of units it could ship.

A separate recent report suggested that one of the main problems in Watch production was the Taptic Engine vibration motor. A number of motors produced by AAC Technologies allegedly failed during relability testing, forcing Apple to at least temporarily shift most Taptic Engine production to Apple's second supplier of the part, Nidec.

Leung noted that the unspecified wearable is no longer a problem for Quanta in terms of quality or technology.

To date Apple has had a difficult time keeping up with Watch orders. While many units are shipping ahead of their predicted devlivery dates, the company is still targeting a "July" window for most new purchases. Edition models, which start at $10,000, should ship in June if not earlier.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Apple had a secondary supplier of taptic engine parts? But this conflicts with the troll narrative of Apple "foolishly" having only one supplier for key components, thereby creating a disastrous launch. Either that, or shame on Angela. I don't think the Watch trolls have reached consensus on their story yet.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Apple had a secondary supplier of taptic engine parts? But this conflicts with the troll narrative of Apple "foolishly" having only one supplier for key components, thereby creating a disastrous launch. Either that, or shame on Angela. I don't think the Watch trolls have reached consensus on their story yet.

    Anybody that has ever been involved in a product ramp up knows that there are all sorts of glitches to deal with. In this case Apple has plenty of new tech to deal with from the ultra small PCB to the taptic engine. Possibly having an issue with any of those isn't a big deal, The big deal comes from how you rise to the challenges.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,175member
    Apple had a secondary supplier of taptic engine parts? .

    According to yet another rumor. Lacking anything official from a verified supplier or Apple themselves that's all any of it has amounted to. In any event it doesn't matter. The watches will be available for sale when they're ready, just as it's always been.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Anybody that has ever been involved in a product ramp up knows that there are all sorts of glitches to deal with. In this case Apple has plenty of new tech to deal with from the ultra small PCB to the taptic engine. Possibly having an issue with any of those isn't a big deal, The big deal comes from how you rise to the challenges.

    if you asked the poor factory slobs working on rotation 24 hours a day pumping them out, I think they'd saying they're rising to the occasion just fine. that some nerds have to wait longer than anticipated during the first months of launch is likely not a big deal to them.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Worker shortages? Really? How come we've never seen this with other Apple products? I don't remember hearing about iPhones or iPads being delayed because of the lunar holiday in China.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Worker shortages? Really? How come we've never seen this with other Apple products? I don't remember hearing about iPhones or iPads being delayed because of the lunar holiday in China.



    This does possibly explain why Apple's switched to a Fall launch timeline though. Plus, this is Quanta, not Foxconn.

  • Reply 7 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Worker shortages? Really? How come we've never seen this with other Apple products? I don't remember hearing about iPhones or iPads being delayed because of the lunar holiday in China.

    Very very simple answer: there has never been anywhere close to this level of demand for a brand-new Apple product in a new category. 

     

    iPhone and iPad demand took a long time to ramp up.

  • Reply 8 of 18
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Worker shortages? Really? How come we've never seen this with other Apple products? I don't remember hearing about iPhones or iPads being delayed because of the lunar holiday in China.

    apple has never had an overnight billion-dollar business before. as others noted there are many variables at play here, including the season and scale. read up:

    http://carlhowe.com/blog/apple-watch-an-overnight-multi-billion-dollar-business/
  • Reply 9 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Very very simple answer: there has never been anywhere close to this level of demand for a brand-new Apple product in a new category. 

    iPhone and iPad demand took a long time to ramp up.

    iPhone yes, iPad no way.

    cumulative-shipments-months-since-launch-ipad-iphone-ipod_chartbuilder.png?w=704
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    This does possibly explain why Apple's switched to a Fall launch timeline though. Plus, this is Quanta, not Foxconn.

    Maybe. I assumed it was because fall is closer to holiday season.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    apple has never had an overnight billion-dollar business before. as others noted there are many variables at play here, including the season and scale. read up:

    http://carlhowe.com/blog/apple-watch-an-overnight-multi-billion-dollar-business/

    What about iPad? Seems to me it had a huge initial ramp (which some are offering as explaination as to why sales are leveling off/declining).
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Without mentioning the Apple Watch by name, the vice chairman of manufacturer Quanta Computer said on Friday that initial production of a client's wearable was limited because of workforce shortages, although his company has since caught up.

     

    Cool. So... where's my watch then, if they're caught up?

  • Reply 13 of 18
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    What about iPad? Seems to me it had a huge initial ramp (which some are offering as explaination as to why sales are leveling off/declining).

    iPad sold 1 million units in a month, 3 million units in the first 80 days, compared to the iPhone which only sold around 270,000 units in about the same time frame. Granted the original iPhone sold for $599 at the time, and the original iPad $499 to $829, so that's a much higher barrier for entry than the $350 Sport, not to mention what both products sell for now. There's also the fact that there's no concrete numbers available at all, merely analyst's guesses and questionable surveys. So it seems to me a little to early to be having this conversation in any meaningful way.

  • Reply 14 of 18
    onepotatoonepotato Posts: 95member

    What kind of slipshod sweatshop is Apple running here where they let employees take a holiday?

  • Reply 15 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    According to yet another rumor. Lacking anything official from a verified supplier or Apple themselves that's all any of it has amounted to. In any event it doesn't matter. The watches will be available for sale when they're ready, just as it's always been.

    Let me guess, the top Google brass have told you to ingratiate yourself for a few weeks? :D
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Still haven't recieved my watch. Granted I placed my pre-order late in the pack on April 21st but what urks me is that the ship times changed from "July" to 5-7 weeks for new buyers today. That is the same window I see in my order status. I am so glad I "pre-ordered."
  • Reply 17 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Cool. So... where's my watch then, if they're caught up?

    You're already wearing it!
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