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Apple Watch Production Back on Track After 'Labor Shortages' Caused Initial Delays

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The Apple Watch has been in high demand since the wearable began accepting pre-orders over a month ago, with the first wave of Space Black Link Bracelet, Leather Loop, and Modern Buckle just now shipping to customers this week.

A few reports have pointed to defective Taptic Engines produced by an Apple supplier in Shenzhen, China as the main reason behind the bottleneck, but a new story today out of DigiTimes suggests dramatic labor shortages during the Lunar New Year could have been the main source of the Apple Watch's low yield rate in the weeks after launch.
"Because of labor shortages during the Lunar New Year holidays, Quanta was forced to borrow manpower from other manufacturers and was only able to deliver limited shipments in the first quarter," said Quanta vice chairman CC Leung. "However, Quanta already has sufficient capacity to manufacture all the orders and should see a giant contribution from its wearable device business in the second quarter."
Interestingly, Leung never mentions Apple or the Apple Watch by name and even "declined to state the name of its client or its products," according to DigiTimes. The vice chairman did note, however, that the wearable in question is "unlike the smartwatches it produced before" and that it "has a lot of functions in it and its client is satisfied with the product." Given that the Apple Watch's unit shortage is very public knowledge and considering that Quanta is the primary source of its manufacturing, it would appear that the "smartwatch" in question is the Apple Watch.

Rumors of a limited Apple Watch supply began just a few weeks after the wearable was announced at Apple's "Spring Forward" event in March. Although the Apple Watch's supply has been strained, Apple confirmed before the Apple Watch launch that some models may arrive before their estimated delivery dates, with many 4-6 week shipping estimates improving dramatically for some customers.

Although there are exceptions, most Apple Watch orders placed today have between a 2-3 week and 3-5 week estimate for the smaller 38mm case size, while most models in the 42mm size are sitting on a delivery estimate of July. But, with today's possible hint at an even more amped up production line alongside Apple's already impressive attempt to come in ahead of delivery expectations, it's still possible many orders will reach their owners ahead of time.

Article Link: Apple Watch Production Back on Track After 'Labor Shortages' Caused Initial Delays
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
351
967
Washington, DC
"...alongside Apple's already impressive attempt to come in ahead of delivery expectations..."

Ha, tell that to the people in the SS Space Black forum...
 
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sampaul

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2012
81
191
Philadelphia
Well my watch still says "Processing" since day one. I am starting to think that I am gonna get my watch next year.
 

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clibinarius

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
667
62
NY
"...alongside Apple's already impressive attempt to come in ahead of delivery expectations..."

Ha, tell that to the people in the SS Space Black forum...

That explains the auto idea: trying to get another coater or DLC!
 
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BigHonkingDeal

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2009
832
1,027
Fort Pierce
But, with today's possible hint at an even more amped up production line alongside Apple's already impressive attempt to come in ahead of delivery expectations, it's still possible many orders will reach their owners ahead of time.

This sounds like a press anouncement out of North Korea..... Look how impressive our fearless leader is conducting business :)
 
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acslater017

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2006
710
98
San Francisco Bay Area
I wonder if this will affect Apple's decision to launch in April. If memory serves, they stopped using April for flagship hardware back in 2012 ("The New iPad"?). Since then, new iOS hardware has all been crammed into the Fall.

I mean, Lunar New Year is gonna happen next year, right?
 
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pilotpat

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2015
345
415
Nebraska, USA
The only thing impressive about this launch has been how impressively slow the watches are being shipped. I ordered on 4/10 at 12:14am Pacific time and still processing. :(
 
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Cory Bauer

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2003
596
208
I don't think people outside the Watch forum even realize how bad it really is; Apple still hasn't fullfilled the first 9 hours of pre-orders from the first day of pre-orders...five weeks ago. Think about that for a while.
 
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Karma*Police

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2012
1,937
1,537
This launch was definitely very frustrating but I have to say, the week long wait was definitely worth it.
 
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bliggs

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2012
277
197
Broken Arrow
Still waiting... Won't be much longer now....:rolleyes:

Processing Items: Available to ship: 4-6 weeks
Delivers: 29 May, 2015 - 11 Jun, 2015 by Standard Shipping

Apple Watch Sport 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,423
2,689
Buffalo, NY
I don't think people outside the Watch forum even realize how bad it really is; Apple still hasn't fullfilled the first 9 hours of pre-orders from the first day of pre-orders...five weeks ago. Think about that for a while.

Apple hasn't even fulfilled the first 12 MINUTES of orders from the first day of the 42mm Space Grey!
 
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fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,575
1,318
Vancouver, BC, Canada
But, that was back in February.

According to wikipedia:

2015 date Thursday, February 19

February 19–21 (de jure)[20]
February 18–24 (de facto)[21]

So, while the prescribed holiday is the 19-21, most employers give the 18-24 off, so they get a full 7 days of celebration.

So, they lost 1 full week of production (or a very big part of it).

Still, why is that causing so many delays 3 months later?? The build cycle isn't that long.
 
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NickUK69

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2008
36
0
Watch straps

All this fussing over watch shipping times and people still waiting... I got mine delivered on launch day and I'm STILL WAITING for an extra strap to arrive. Aaaggghhhhhhh....

lol

:p
 
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roygm

macrumors newbie
May 15, 2015
1
0
I'm pissed

I ordered my Watch - stainless with classic buckle on April 12, after trying it on at the store and I've had "processing, estimated delivery June" since. Last night, this changed finally to processing with a delivery estimate. My problem is the delivery is now:
Processing Items Available to ship: 5-6 weeks
Delivers: 26 Jun - 6 Jul by Standard Shipping
I've been waiting for 5 weeks already and call me crazy but isn't July 6 in well, JULY? Not June like they promised. We hear about how Apple inflated the initial delivery estimates and they themselves told the media that many of these individuals would receive their watches before the estimate. We're now at the point when they should have a better handle on the process and are able to better estimate the actual time for delivery and they actually pushed back my order. What's the deal?
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,249
27,951
Sorry I call BS on this. Especially since it's coming from DigiTimes.
 
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RogerWilco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
768
1,261
"Winston was smoking a Victory Cigarette which he held carefully horizontal. The new ration did not start till tomorrow and he had only four cigarettes left. For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal."

Nineteen Eighty Four -- George Orwell
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,249
27,951
I think there might be some truth to it but your point is well taken. DigiTimes has a terrible track record.

Really? So Apple knows nothing about the lunar new year and was completely caught off guard by these work stoppages or had no contingency in place? I'm not buying it.
 
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BassPlayer

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2011
54
2
West Haven, CT
Don't know what to believe

I ordered my 42mm Space Gray Sport on 4/27 after trying a few on at the New Haven, CT store. Ordered online and status said "Available to ship: June". Fine - I knew I'd be waiting a while.

Yesterday, my card got charged for the AppleCare, but not the watch. I called Apple, as I didn't want my AppleCare to start a month before I got the thing. The rep said "We'd only charge you for the AppleCare if the watch was ready to ship to you." Ok - fine. Then I check the order status this morning, and it's been changed to "Available to ship: 5-6 weeks - Delivers: 22 Jun, 2015 - 29 Jun, 2015 by Standard Shipping".

So I don't know if the rep was blowing smoke up my rear, or if this status too is bogus.
 
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Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,653
158
Atlanta, GA
I ordered my 42mm Space Gray Sport on 4/27 after trying a few on at the New Haven, CT store. Ordered online and status said "Available to ship: June". Fine - I knew I'd be waiting a while.

Yesterday, my card got charged for the AppleCare, but not the watch. I called Apple, as I didn't want my AppleCare to start a month before I got the thing. The rep said "We'd only charge you for the AppleCare if the watch was ready to ship to you." Ok - fine. Then I check the order status this morning, and it's been changed to "Available to ship: 5-6 weeks - Delivers: 22 Jun, 2015 - 29 Jun, 2015 by Standard Shipping".

So I don't know if the rep was blowing smoke up my rear, or if this status too is bogus.

The rep was completely wrong. Most people, myself included, were charged for AppleCare right when we placed our orders. It means nothing.
 
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