Apple Watch launches and is immediately hit with shipment delays
All Apple Watch models in the US sold out in just six hours, according to 9to5Mac, and shipping time for the devices is delayed by four to six weeks.
At the official Apple Watch launch event last month, Apple told excited consumers that they would be able to buy their devices on April 24.
But on Friday, Apple fans preordering their Watches were told they might have to wait several weeks to receive their purchases. That April 24 date is being pushed further and further back.
A lot of people are hearing "June," "July," or "August."
At first it didn't look good if you want the top-end Apple Watch Edition Yellow Gold.
From April to August!
It looks as if Apple has now revised most shipping dates back to June:
Business Insider has contacted Apple to ask what caused the lengthy delays and whether any customers will actually be receiving their watch on April 24.
Business Insider European tech reporter James Cook was one of the first people in the UK to preorder and try on an Apple Watch in-store on Friday morning. He paid £299 ($440) for the Apple Watch Sport White.
But when he returned from trying on his Watch in the Selfridges department store in London to click on the Apple website to check his order and see when it would arrive, this was the screen he was presented with:
A couple of hours later he logged on again to check his order status, and now it looks as if his watch will arrive by May 8 at the latest — and it could even arrive by April 24!
Here's what the Apple Watch will look like on his wrist when it does arrive.
Other people who bought the Apple Watch on Friday morning have posted about how irritated they are that they will not actually be receiving their purchases for weeks longer than expected.
There are three ways to think about this:
- Apple failed to meet demand. Apple had trouble meeting the demand for the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, too. It knows its products are popular, yet it can never seem to get enough inventory available for its launches. Why can't the company estimate delivery dates accurately?
- Apple is a genius at marketing. The company knows an apparent "shortage" will generate headlines, as will all those tweets and lines outside stores. It makes the watch look all the more popular and desirable.
- The Apple Watch is actually a logistical nightmare. As MG Siegler notes, there are three main Apple Watch designs and 54 straps to go with them. That is a store-stocking hell, with a possible total number of hardware combos somewhere in the region of 486 different units. No wonder the company has difficulty processing and shipping to each customer.
Of course, those three possibilities are not mutually exclusive.
In a press release posted on the Apple website on Thursday, Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores, said: "We are excited to welcome customers tomorrow and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet. Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch. To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period."