The Apple Watch Series 7 is facing major production challenges and a near-certain delay

The Apple Watch Series 7 is facing major production challenges and a near-certain delay
While Apple has yet to make its first big product launch event of this fall official, we're pretty sure the (virtual) shindig will take place on September 14. That obviously means that whatever the Cupertino-based tech giant plans to unveil has to be just about ready for primetime by now, but according to a new Nikkei Asia report, that's not quite the case for the company's next-gen smartwatch.

Since the Apple Watch Series 6 managed to see daylight "on time" last year, when the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the tech industry were arguably harder to control than right now, we always expected the Series 7 to both be announced and commercially released by the end of September 2021.

But although the former is likely still very much on the cards, you may have to wait a little longer than a few weeks to actually buy the next big candidate for the highly contested title of best smartwatch out there.

Maybe the radical redesign was not such a good idea after all

As initially revealed all the way back in May and visualized in glorious new concept renders based on existing information, credible rumors, and educated guesses, the Apple Watch Series 7 will look nothing like its forerunners on the outside.

Okay, perhaps "nothing" is a bit of an exaggeration, as Apple is not really aiming to reinvent the wheel here (or, even crazier, adopt a circular shape to replace that good old fashioned rectangle so many Android enthusiasts love to hate).

Still, the new design is evidently "radical" and "complicated" enough that it required a major overhaul of "various modules", sensors, and components, which reportedly caused serious engineering and production challenges. While today's report doesn't exactly go into a lot of detail regarding the specific nature of said challenges, the problems faced by all Apple Watch Series 7 assemblers could definitely lead to significant delays.

By far the most ominous part of the inside info relayed by "multiple people familiar with the situation" is that Apple and its component suppliers are currently having a hard time estimating when mass manufacturing might kick off despite "working around the clock" to solve the recently discovered issues.

Basically, the best that Cupertino's engineering team can hope to do is "minimize" the seemingly inevitable delay of a Series 7 timepiece previously planned to go into mass production "around mid-September." So while it's still possible to see the wearable device unveiled alongside the iPhone 13 family on September 14, sales and shipments could well be held off until October or even further down the line.

There's some new stuff on the inside too

Even though certain potentially game-changing features are unlikely to make their way to the market this year after all, the Apple Watch Series 7 is widely expected to bring at least one big new health monitoring weapon to the war against Samsung, Garmin, and soon enough, Google.

We're talking about a blood pressure measurement tool, which the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic already have going for them (in select countries). Not to be mistaken with a blood oxygen or blood glucose sensor, this is just one of the key components making life difficult for engineers and assemblers.

The reason is that Apple is trying to fit a larger number of parts and sensors than ever before into a "similar size body", which is proving quite tricky to navigate at a time when traveling back and forth between the US and the various Asian home bases of the company's major suppliers is still made hard by COVID-19 restrictions and precautions.

In a nutshell, the Apple Watch Series 7 might have been a slightly too ambitious endeavor for the unusual times we're living, but at the end of the day, that will only make it more satisfying when these production challenges are inevitably overcome and the device manages to consolidate the supremacy of its predecessor

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