Wistron building MacBook Pro Touch Bars after original supplier falls short - report

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Because of problems experienced by an initial supplier, Taiwan's Wistron is now handling at least some orders for the Touch Bar keyboard on the MacBook Pro, reports claimed on Tuesday.

Since the keyboard is difficult to build, its original supplier — an unspecified company in Singapore — was having trouble meeting Apple demand, according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, quoted by DigiTimes. It's not clear what percentage of orders Wistron might be taking.

In any case the first supplier's problems are allegedly partly to blame for delays in Pro shipments. When Apple announced its new models on Oct. 27, Touch Bar configurations were immediately saddled with a 2- to 3-week wait, which quickly stretched out to between 4 and 5 weeks.

The Touch Bar is a unique and complex piece of Apple hardware — a multitouch display strip meant to replace function keys. The component has its own processor, the T1, and can present context-sensitive controls such as sliders and timelines. It even has Touch ID built in, supporting Apple Pay and fast logins.

Low yields of hinges and batteries may also be contributing to delays. Regardless, Apple has supposedly been "aggressive" about ramping up MacBook Pro orders, expecting high sales running into 2017.