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Apple Watch reportedly hit by faulty Taptic Engine, slows rollout

Ordered an Apple Watch? If so, that long wait you may be experiencing looks as if it could be down to a technical problem that’s caused Apple to scrap some completed devices and switch suppliers in an attempt to resolve the issue.

The problem concerns the smartwatch’s “Taptic Engine,” essentially a vibration motor that alerts wearers to incoming messages and the like. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the motors have been failing in reliability tests, forcing Apple to suspend operations with AAC Technologies Holdings, one of the two Asia-based suppliers of the component. Of course, this means extra work for the remaining supplier, Japan-owned Nidec, which will need some time to ramp up production.

Importantly, there’s no talk of any kind of Apple Watch recall as it’s thought all the faulty devices were caught before they were shipped.

Related: Apple Watch teardown reveals replacing parts is “nearly impossible”

According to Apple’s website, most orders won’t be dispatched until June, by which time its production line should once again be operating at full capacity.

The Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine, which is a key part of the device’s feature set, alerts wearers to incoming information with a gentle tap-like sensation on the back of the wrist. The technology also lets you send your hearbeat to another wearer, a feature Apple has made much of since announcing the Watch last year.

Related: DT’s review of the Apple Watch

The Cupertino company started displaying the Watch in stores on April 10 and began shipping them on April 24. Customers can buy Apple’s debut wearable online or at select boutique stores, though the issue with the Watch’s Taptic Engine means those ordering the device will likely have to wait a little longer than originally expected.

The Apple Watch, which costs from $350 to $17,000 depending on the model, is the company’s first entry into a new product category since the iPad helped launch the mainstream tablet market in 2010. It’s hard to know just how well the Watch is selling, though some analysts suggest there’s been strong demand among early adopters.