Despite all of the logistical issues caused by the pandemic, Apple appeared to be on track to launch its latest products on time this year. All of a sudden, that might be in doubt. Early on Wednesday morning in Japan, Nikkei Asia reported that Apple had delayed production of the Apple Watch Series 7. Sources told Nikkei that the complicated design of Apple’s wearable is to blame. Manufacturers reportedly began small-scale production just last week, but then “encountered critical challenges in reaching satisfactory production performance.”
In recent weeks, leaks and reports have pointed to a significant redesign for the Apple Watch Series 7. Apple will likely ditch the rounded edges of previous models for the same flat edges seen on the iPad Pro and iPhone 12. There will be other changes as well, and three separate sources claim assemblers ran into problems while putting together modules, components, and displays.
Apple Watch Series 7 production delayed
Due to these issues, Apple has apparently halted production of the Apple Watch Series 7. Apple plans to work with its suppliers to sort through these issues before mass production begins.
“All assemblers are facing similar problems in reaching satisfactory production performance based on the current industrial designs,” a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans told Nikkei.
“Apple and its suppliers are working around the clock trying to solve the issues, but currently it is hard to tell when the mass production could begin,” another added.
Adding fuel to the fire, Bloomberg corroborated Nikkei’s report with its own on Tuesday. Bloomberg’s source also pointed to issues with the new design. The source also predicted that the manufacturing woes could result in supply constraints or shipment delays this fall.
Nikkei’s report didn’t offer many specifics. Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that the Apple Watch Series 7 utilizes screen technology that brings the display closer to the cover glass with a different lamination technique. The source believes that it’s possible this technique is one of the culprits.
When will Apple announce its next watch?
Apple was initially expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 7 alongside the iPhone 13 next month. If these reports are accurate, Apple has a few possible solutions. On one hand, the company could stick to its original release date, but warn customers about the limited supply. On the other, Apple might simply delay it. That was the solution for the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max in 2020.
We won’t have to wait long to find out which route Apple chose to take. The company is expected to host its latest hardware reveal event in mid-September. If the Apple Watch Series 7 is present, it is expected to feature the new design we talked about above. In addition to the flat sides, the Apple Watch Series 7 will also come in slightly bigger sizes than its predecessors. According to multiple reports, the Apple Watch Series 7 will be available in 41mm and 45mm screen sizes.