Apple has allegedly slashed its initial order of Apple Watches in half, cutting the number of units from around 3 million to just 1.5 million, a new report out of Taiwan claims. As has been the case with many Apple product launches in the past, this latest device is suffering from production troubles. However that may not be the only reason that Apple have cut the number ordered.
Limiting the number of devices available at launch will likely create a shortage, and it won't be long before news outlets begin printing that the Apple Watch was so popular it's sold out, when in fact it was down to limited supples rather than much larger than expected demand.
The problem seems to stem from Apple's decision to switch to a new type of display for the watch. The new Apple Watch will make use of AMOLED panels, something which Samsung is rather famours for, and they are being manufactured by LG, but the company is having trouble producing enough to keep up with demand. LG was originally expected to produce 5 million panels per month.
But maybe Apple isn’t cutting its supply. Maybe something else is afoot…
This report should be taken with a hefty (and potentially unhealthy) serving of salt. The original source of the story—the Economic Daily News—doesn’t have quite the shining track record that some other publications enjoy, and has previously made some pretty interesting (and dubious) claims about Apple’s manufacturing process.
Tim Cook is a supply chain guru. It makes sense that he would plan for contingencies like this, likely by ensuring other manufacturers could pick up the slack if necessary. While the initial order for LG parts may have been cut to account for low yield, Apple may be relying on another manufacturer to produce displays to meet that 3 million unit order.