The day has finally come when Apple worshippers the world over can preorder the highly anticipated Apple Watch. But those who were counting on having their new smartwatches sent to them on the promised April 24 on-sale date may have to muster a little extra patience.
Online orders for the smartwatch began Friday, but to the dismay of many, they are turning up estimated shipping dates of four to six weeks in most cases, more than double the time customers were expecting. Not even the high-rollers are being spared. A $17,000 Apple Watch Edition with a yellow gold face and red leather band will go out sometime in June.
It should be noted that Apple only said it would begin shipping Apple Watch on April 24, so customers bellyaching that they won't be able to strap into the wearable two weeks from today were in for a dose of reality regardless. But that doesn't account for a delay that could leave them waiting a month and a half or more.
"It seems like the vast majority of people who were able to get in a preorder this morning are being told June at the absolute earliest," CNET senior editor Jeff Bakalar told CBS News. "So we might be looking at late summer for most of these deliveries."
So what's the problem? We're not quite sure. It could be that Apple is pulling an age-old marketing ploy to bolster demand by creating a false shortage, "but I'm not so sure that's what's happening now," Bakalar said.
There were questions before the Watch launched about possible supply shortfalls, and it's conceivable that Apple just wanted to test out the demand before ramping up production to meet it.
Analysts had predicted Apple could sell anywhere from 8 to over 15 million of the smartwatches in 2015, while at least one report claimed the company ordered an initial run of between 5 and 6 million units.
Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail said in a statement Thursday, "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."
If you're feeling restless, check out our gallery of 16 timepieces cooler than the Apple Watch.