If you’re hoping to pick up an Apple Watch on launch day, then AppleInsider has news of a rumour today that might concern you, and that will certainly be of great concern to Apple if it turns out to be accurate.
The rumour was initially picked up by GforGames, and comes from UDN in China. According to UDN, only 30% to 40% of OLED panels made for the Apple Watch by display partner LG are usable. The report goes on to say that because of this big problem, Apple has cut its launch production target to approximately 1.5 million units per month, which is half of its original production target of 3 million units.
Apparently it is much more difficult to manufacture the plastic-backed flexible OLED panels than it is the glass-backed panels, as the process requires a new production method to insert a vacuum between the panel and substrate. The usual water jet vacuum pumps are apparently not suitable for the job, due to humidity issues.
AppleInsider adds that there are also said to be problems at Quanta Computer, which is the main assembler of the Apple Watch, due to the computer manufacturing company finding it harder than expected to adapt its processes for a device as small as the Apple Watch.
However, AppleInsider suggests that we take this news with a healthy pinch of salt, saying that LG is expert at manufacturing flexible OLED displays, being one of the companies that invented them.
Source: Rumor Apple Watch faces staggering manufacturing issues initial production run halved