So real talk: Do we even know what on earth is causing this supply constrain?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by LiemTa, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. LiemTa macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2014
    Apple announced the Watch back in September 2014. They've had ages to make product. What's their excuse?
  2. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    My guess: Software.

    Believe it or not. The watch was ready at the first keynote.

    If you look at the reviews and the problems with third party apps, I'm sure that Apple had a different concept at first. That did not work out because it would have been a horrible experience.

    So, they removed most of the software features, heavily relied on the iPhone to provide a templated app experience and removed everything that could execute code.

    Then, after they finished this mess, they started producing and flashing the firmware.

    I am sure that the watch (this generation) will not receive many software updates. It is underpowered and will be obsolete next year.

    Seriously: The hardware was ready ... and sport models do not rely on sapphire. I think they dropped the ball and redesigned the whole software.
  3. DirtySocks85, Apr 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015

    DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Announced and finalized are two very different beasts. Just because they had the casings done and some demo software in September doesn't mean they were anywhere near ready for mass production. I'm pretty sure the only reason they announced it so early was market pressure from the onslaught of every other manufacturer. Apple didn't want to give the impression that they were just sitting back and watching others play in the wearables sandbox.
  4. puralien12 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    The hardware wasn't necessarily ready. That's evidenced by the smaller display and larger bezels from initial marketing materials to later. I'm sure that was in large part to maximize battery, so I'm also betting they've spent the last few months working out battery hardware too.
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    That wouldn't cause a slow shipping rate. If there were enough watches sitting in storage for everyone who has ordered one, and all they had to do was flash the new software build and ship them, then everyone would be getting them within a week of the launch date.

    I would guess that it's just general ramp-up production issues. Something that works alright when you try to produce a thousand watches, but then when you try to produce a million you get lower yields / high failure rates than expected on some components or manufacturing steps.
  6. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    If this is the case (and I agree with you here), we will certainly find out here what the quality issues were / will be ;)

    EDIT: I still believe that software played a big part, but who knows.
  7. Juan007 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
    The "software" explanation is unlikely. Even if the initial shipping image is complete crap, as long as it can force an update to a new image before first use ("an update is required to use your Apple Watch") then you're fine.

    Most likely they are having issues producing these in volume, since they are inventing new factory processes / tooling / etc. This is the first device of its kind for Apple.
  8. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Y'know, it's always possible that demand was underestimated.

    That, and it's a new product with new technologies that need time to spin up.
  9. Juan007 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
    No, it's not possible.

    2.3 million watches is about what the whole world expected would be sold.

    You're telling me Apple didn't want to have 2.3 million watches in inventory if they could? Worst case, the Apple Watch was a complete flop and sold 10,000 units (yeah right) and Apple would have had to write off a few $100MM in inventory.

    On the other hand, if Apple Watch is successful, Apple stands to profit billions in the next few years.

    No, they screwed this up, and it may just cost them their watch business (if they can't ship in time).
  10. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    Honestly. If they can do it with the iPhone 6 and 6+, I see no reason why they could not produce 5 million watches...
    My guess is that the milling is the same for Alu and SS, except for the tools used.
  11. DreamPod macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2008
    There were rumors before the preorder announcement that Apple was having a problem with a 70% defect rate, meaning only 30% of the watches were making it through production up to Apple's standards. These things have so many parts going into them, and the appearance is so much more important to any of their previous products, that I think the factories were just having a bitch of a time consistently making Apple happy.
  12. bunnicula macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2008
    Who says they screwed anything up yet?

    Let's wait until after the 24th to see.
  13. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    No. It was the hardware. Shortly after the first event Apple said that they wanted to increase battery life on the device. That's hardware.
  14. BillyTrimble macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2013
    You want real talk about what is causing the shortages?

    How about shortages of just about every other product launch?
  15. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    ... and they did it by removing all software features ;)
  16. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
  17. jwdawso macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2002

    Boy, that's stirring up the pot! Apple is doomed I tell you, doomed! ;)
  18. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    It's because it's a new product. This is the first time a product made by Apple is being mass produced. Also isn't it the first smart watch with a sapphire screen? It's the first screen made at that size with that resolution. There were quite a few articles within the past few months warning that there were production yield issues. So bad at one point that it was at 50%.

    As for the ones that were revealed in September and probably even in March were made at Apple's head quarters. They can produce products there just not mass produce. Otherwise the Apple Watch would've been leaked like how the iPhone 6/5s/5 has been leaked.
  19. Notme90 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2015
    It's basically production bottleneck, what it is tho, I don't know
    For as it could be the sapphire glass. They had issues with the company producing it.
    However for sport, it's probably the over all high demand.
    It's hard to forecast the watch sales as it's the first gen product and there are no previous data to forecast demand from.
  20. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007

    Did Apple change their expectations about how the :apple:Watch would be used and work after the Sept keynote? Yes.
    The same thing happened with the original iPhone. The difference is that :apple:Watch was already guaranteed to be a success because it is building on a base of existing Apple fans. Not to mention that :apple:Watch arrives at a time that every other smartwatch (except maybe the Pebble) are derided as being pointless.

    The hardware (except battery) might have been ready a year ago but battery and software tech takes time. Plus they might have been holding back to see where Samsung, LG, and Moto failed so they didn't replicate their mistakes.

    I doubt that the :apple:Watch will not receive software updates. I would be more willing to bet the next 2-3 months will see 2 updates, tweeting bugs that were not discovered during testing. Then a major WatchOS1.1 update next fall to coincide with iPhone 6S release that provides new functions and more optimization for battery life.
    I don't expect to see major update to :apple:Watch next year except maybe a larger battery but nothing that will make people run out and buy a new one.

    Next year's watch will probably be the exact same as today's watch, except larger battery life and a S2 chip (slightly faster). No major changes to design. Maybe new materials as an option though. And new bands.

    A truly new :apple:Watch probably won't show up for 4 years, UNLESS they can get some of the health tracking stuff, like O2 sensors or blood pressure before that.
  21. Pupi macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
    lol no.

    Also, HOW is the Watch underpowered? By the way it takes long to remotely load third party apps from the iPhone over bluetooth or wi-fi? :rolleyes:
  22. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2015
    They under-manufactured so they could use pre-orders to gauge demand. It's all about the margins.

    It's good business, kids. Apple knows that they're doing. If you're upset about waiting why not cancel your order and swear to never buy a watch ever? You won't do that, will you? Apple knows that too.

  23. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    We've heard stories of manufacturing issues with various elements, but the most interesting aspect to me was that due to the wide number of combinations and no previous experience of what people would buy (and a business need not to have lots of unused inventory), Apple waited u til the pre-orders to decide how many of each combination to build, hence the 2 week lead time. If this is true, it is incredible that they can turn around global production and delivery in 2 weeks, but also explains some of the co privations in shipping something that has so many variations.
  24. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    The two manufacturing problems were the glass and haptic feedback motors.

    This were causing the delay.
  25. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Sapphire crystal, machining difficulties and hand finishing.

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