The much-awaited Apple Watch has a key component that is defective, resulting to limited availability of supply. Elsewhere, Apple Watch owners with sleeve tattoos are reporting that their devices do not work as expected.
Apple watch taptic engine is defective
The key component said to be defective is called the taptic engine, The Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter. Taptic engine is responsible for the “gentle tapping” feature of the Apple Watch.
According to the report, the defective component has prompted Apple to limit supply for the device. Apple is also not planning for product recall as not all devices out in the market have defective taptic engine. The only defective units were those supplied by AAC Technologies, sources told WSJ. All defective units were said to have been scrapped to avoid reaching the market. Also, product recall is not necessary because components supplied by Japan’s Nidec Corporation are in good condition. Apple is said to have ordered Nidec to increase and hasten its production.
“Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on available supply and the order in which they were received. We know many customers are still facing long lead times and we appreciate their patience,” Apple said in a statement obtained by WSJ.
#TattooGate: Some tattoo interfere with the Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is also said to be malfunctioning when a wearer has sleeve tattoos. The problem was first reported by a reddit user guinne55fan.
“So I thought my shiny new 42mm SS watch had a bad wrist detector sensor. The watch would lock up every time the screen went dark and prompted me for my password. I wouldn’t receive notifications. I couldn’t figure out why especially since the watch was definitely not losing contact with my skin. also I couldn’t find anything online with people experiencing this issue,” the user posted.
“I was about to give up and call Apple tomorrow when I decided to try holding it against my hand (my left arm is sleeved and where I wear my watch is tattooed as well) and it worked. My hand isn’t tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink the watch would automatically lock again. Just wanted to give anyone a heads up about this issue because I don’t see it mentioned anywhere in Apple’s support documents,” the user said.
More affected users reported of the same problem until the hashtag #TattooGate was born. This is in reference to previous problems users encountered with other Apple products that gave birth to the #AntennaGate for the iPhone 4 and the #BendGate for the iPhone 6 plus.
— Wylsacom (@wylsacom) April 28, 2015
Turns out people with wrist tattoos will be unable to use Apple Watch for Apple Pay because it can’t sense you’re alive. Fun! 😀
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 28, 2015
Ink pigmentation interferes with the Apple Watch
The problem is brought by the watch’s plethysmograph sensor that interferes with ink pigmentation, Serenity Caldwell of iMore has found.
After various tests were conducted, Caldwell discovered that the problem only happens to those with dark and solid tattoos.
“Dark, solid colors seem to give the sensor the most trouble — our tests on solid black and red initially produced heart rate misreadings of up to 196 BPM before failing to read skin contact entirely. Tests on lighter tattoo colors including purple, yellow, and orange produced slightly elevated heart misreads of 80 BPM (compared to 69 BPM on the wearer’s non-tattooed wrist), but otherwise did not appear to interfere with skin contact registration,” Caldwell wrote.
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