Manufacturing issues could slash Apple Watch supply in half.

Demand is there for the Apple Watch, but is supply? Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple may not sell close to the number of Apple Watches it wants to in the coming months — and it’ll have nothing to do with lack of demand on the part of customers.

According to a new report, Apple’s plans to manufacture between 2.5 and 3 million smartwatches every month could be cut by as much as half thanks to supplier yield problems, which mean that only 1.25 – 1.5 million watches are being churned out every four weeks.

The new report claims that manufacturer LG is having problems with the display, leading to a dismal 30 to 40 percent yield capacity.

Apparently the plastic OLED panels used for the watch are made lighter and more flexible by using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) instead of a glass substrate. However, manufacturing plastic OLEDs requires a different method than usual to create the vacuum between the OLED panel and the plastic substrate — thereby making the manufacture of Apple Watch displays more complex than expected.

Another issue supposedly concerns Quanta’s inability to assemble the watches on schedule. As a laptop maker, Quanta is said to be struggling to put together the smaller smartwatches as fast as planned; leading to a slower rate of production than expected.

Seeing as this is Apple’s first major new mass market product line since the iPad, some first generation teething problems are expected, but hopefully any issues Apple is struggling with can be ironed out soon so that Apple Watch supply isn’t artificially suppressed due to a lack of available products.

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