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Apple Watch preorders could top 2.3 million, Taptic Engine causing production delays

Apple Watch preorders could top 2.3 million, Taptic Engine causing production delays

That iThingy You're Wearing
April 16, 2015

A few days ago, we heard that data from a sample group indicated that almost 1 million people could have preordered an Apple Watch in the United States alone, resulting in initial stock of the device promptly selling out on the Apple Online Store and pushing shipping dates for new preorders back to June. In a research note published by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, KGI Securities estimates Apple Watch preorders for March, April, and May to lie somewhere in the region of 2.3 million.

Concerning device models, Kuo goes on in his note to propose a percentage breakdown of the sales of each smartwatch: he sees the Apple Watch Sport as accounting for 85 percent of sales, the stainless steel Apple Watch as accounting for 15 percent, and the Apple Watch Edition as representing 1 percent of sales. He also suggests that the Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine, which incorporates haptic feedback technology into the smartwatch, could be one cause of the product’s production delays. MacRumors, who obtained the note, explains that the challenges of the Taptic Engine concern the more precise, accurate nature of its haptic feedback versus the smaller, more confined nature of the Apple Watch’s housing.

The publication adds:

Kuo notes that Apple plans to expand the supply chains for Apple Watch, with the Cupertino company targeting production of 2 – 3 million units per month. However, they estimate that the potential bottlenecks in production could be the vibrators that power haptic feedback from AAC and AMOLED displays supplied by LGD.

Kuo goes on to predict that Apple could take some 2.5 million preorders by June “if production bottlenecks are absent.” He does add, however, that less than one-tenth of iPhone owners seem to have preordered the smartwatch, “suggesting that hardcore Apple fans have made up the bulk of Watch pre-orders thus far.”

Of course, as of this writing Apple hasn’t announced sales figures for its Watch, with CEO Tim Cook noting on launch day that initial preorders had been “great.” Apple’s initial stock indeed sold out on launch day fairly quickly, indicating that interest in the product had been significant. Cupertino did note in advance, however, that initial supply of the wearable would be limited, leaving analysts and critics second guessing exactly how many Apple Watch units Cupertino has sold. Regardless of launch day sales, as a new product consumer interest in the smartwatch among iOS users is only going to increase over time, provided early adopters are happy with their purchase and enjoy wearing the product.

If you did preorder an Apple Watch and received a later-than-expected shipping date, it’s not all bad news; Apple has noted that preorders for its wearable are likely to reach customers earlier than anticipated.

See also: Do more in less time with IFTTT’s Do Button and Do Note apps for Apple Watch, Misfit for iOS goes 2.0 with new design, Flash integrations and more, and Wikipedia for iOS now features lead images and lets you share text shots.

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