Apple has overcome production issues with its Series 7 smartwatch, and will begin mass-producing the new model in mid- to late September, with a launch later in the same month, according to a note provided by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo said: The Series 7 production problem is mainly related to the board side. However, it has been resolved, and mass production of the panel units will start in mid-September,” the Arab Technical News Portal reported.
The Series 7 has a new design with a flat appearance that resembles the flat edges used on the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro. According to the analyst, the new Apple smartwatch had to go through more production operations than previous models, due to this change in design.
Specifically, the new, more durable screen uses a contact design instead of the old cable design, and also requires a first-time LIPO process.
The company is also using a new OLED production line that can improve efficiency and reduce screen costs. However, this requires the inclusion of new suppliers such as LGF, Young Poong and Jabil, which in itself could have contributed to the delay.
Koo added, “Because many new screen-related productions were adopted for the first time, the Series 7 monitor encountered reliability issues during the risk-increasing phase before Jabil began mass production, including mainly the flickering screen and insensitivity to touch. It could be a complex production issue. These are related to LGD, Jabil or Young Poong.”
Apple solved display unit reliability issues by conducting various DOE experiment designs to find the best production configuration and adjusting qualification criteria on both sides of the display and assembly.
“We expect Jabil to begin mass production of the Series 7 display units in mid-September,” Koo said in the note. Based on this new schedule, the analyst says the final product will begin mass shipping in late September.
Bloomberg previously reported that production issues due to a more complex design meant that the Series 7 launch would be delayed.
Separately, agency reporter Mark Gorman recently mentioned that the device may be available in limited quantities at launch. Gorman reiterated this in a tweet after the analyst’s last note.
In his note, Koo also indicated his optimism about Series 8 shipments for 2022. That’s given that the series introduces new health management features such as temperature measurement.
This is a nod to the recently reported thermometer functionality, which Apple is said to be considering adding to the device as soon as next year.
The company plans to unveil the redesigned watch along with the iPhone 13 lineup at its September 14 event.