Production of the new Apple Watch has been delayed by its complicated design, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia.
The business website said multiple people familiar with the situation had told it there were "critical challenges in reaching satisfactory production performance" after small-scale production started.
"As a result, the production of the new watch has been temporarily halted as Apple and its suppliers try to sort out the problems."
The next iteration of the Cupertino-based company's smartwatch is expected to be announced later this month, with an expectation they will be bigger than in previous years.
"This year's watches will come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, up from 40 and 44mm," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman wrote earlier this week in an unconfirmed report.
"This will be the second time in the Apple Watch's history that the company has increased the display size, following the Apple Watch Series 4."
In 2020 the watch brought in nearly US$13 billion in sales, 65 percent of the global smartwatch market, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
Samsung's newly redesigned smartwatch, the Samsung Watch4 and the Watch4 Classic, go on sale in New Zealand this month.
They are the first of the new generation running Google's Wear OS operating system as opposed to Samsung's own Tizen software.
This creates more compatibility with apps, giving more parity in functionality between them and Apple's stable.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal has reported Apple is working on expanding the health features for its smartwatch, with some of the more ambitious improvements scheduled for 2022 or later.
That includes "a tool to tell users when their blood pressure is increasing and a thermometer to help with fertility planning, according to people familiar with the plans and internal company documents".
Further ahead, the company wants the watch to be able to "detect sleep apnea, provide medical guidance when it senses low blood oxygen levels and spot diabetes", the WSJ said.
Apple doesn't officially comment on such rumours.