Initial Apple Watch stock dries up in minutes, shipping times quickly jump to 4-6 weeks

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  • Reply 81 of 362
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,595member
    I ordered 2 within a couple minutes of the opening, a sport and a stainless model, and the delivery estimate is a pretty wide spread (4/24 - 5/8) of 2 weeks.
  • Reply 82 of 362

    Then you know nothing about manufacturing.


    When you first put a new device into production, it's not a time when throwing more money at a problem will fix it quicker.  Issues have to be worked through before you can ramp production.

    Exactly. Apple, "the colossus" is dependent on external manufacturing. There are only so many lines that can be set up for this without impacting other products. Labor is not an infinite resource. As they gauge demand during the pre-order phase, production will be ramped up accordingly. Not sure what is so hard to understand about this.
  • Reply 83 of 362
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,474member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brucemc View Post

     

    A few to add to the blocked list from this thread...


     

    Every comment by them (@cicconegreek) has been trollish...blocked from AI would be better??  :no: 

  • Reply 84 of 362
    booboobooboo Posts: 49member

    There are quite a few configurations of Apple Watch, and some will be more popular than others. Apple probably made a best guess about product mix early on, then tweaked their guesses based upon people marking favorite models in the online Apple Store and app.

     

    Now they have to make the things, and quickly. They probably would have started with a larger share of manufacturing lines configured to produce the most popular models. (They would rather keep a smaller number of customers waiting on less popular models instead of a huge number of customers waiting on the most popular models.) And since downtime to reconfigure a line to produce a different model is costly and inefficient, they're going to keep some lines running awhile before switching over to make the less popular models.

     

    So I bet the estimated delivery time on less popular models is based on wait time before production lines are configured to build those models, then time to produce and ship them. It's an operations management balancing act. When done correctly, it will minimize total wait time across all customers.

  • Reply 85 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

     



    I actually did, and what I actually said was that I could easily seem them processing 500,000 preorders in the first six hours, which actually means I think it actually could be more. We actually agree, so we actually don't need to be saying actually.

     

    ?What I don't believe is that Apple deliberately undershot their own projections of demand, this time or any other time. Supply on new product introductions is always constrained and backorders are common. This is what leads to all the conspiracy theories about how Apple constrains supply deliberately to build up excitement, a theory I don't buy. Apple can do a lot of things, but they can't simply snap their fingers and create more manufacturing capacity.


    I agree with all of this, with a twist:  I do think that Apple estimates conservatively on build plans of new products.  Not because they want to deliberately be undersupplied but rather because Tim has a well-documented aversion to being oversupplied.  Couple that with Apple's also well-documented history of having rabid customers (such as I) that desire the products, and I would say that's a recipe for demand exceeding supply.  Add in the fact that Cook's supply chain is typically made to be relatively nimble (somehow!) and we see that he can always ramp up to meet the demand eventually.  Not at the snap of a finger, but more like a months-long wave of a hand.  Pretty impressive, actually, given the scope of the effort.

  • Reply 86 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by booboo View Post

     

    There are quite a few configurations of Apple Watch, and some will be more popular than others. Apple probably made a best guess about product mix early on, then tweaked their guesses based upon people marking favorite models in the online Apple Store and app.

     

    Now they have to make the things, and quickly. They probably would have started with a larger share of manufacturing lines configured to produce the most popular models. (They would rather keep a smaller number of customers waiting on less popular models instead of a huge number of customers waiting on the most popular models.) And since downtime to reconfigure a line to produce a different model is costly and inefficient, they're going to keep some lines running awhile before switching over to make the less popular models.

     

    So I bet the estimated delivery time on less popular models is based on wait time before production lines are configured to build those models, then time to produce and ship them. It's an operations management balancing act. When done correctly, it will minimize total wait time across all customers.


    Indeed, and I would wager that Tim will do this correctly and that we will be amazed.

  • Reply 87 of 362
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,595member
    thompr wrote: »
    Same here.

    I'm not believing that it was crushing demand that caused the delayed shipping for certain models.  I mean, sure, maybe the demand was very high.  But I know for a fact that the model I purchased started out at 4-6 weeks from the get-go, and it never changed from there.  My interpretation...

    Apple either had a hard time ramping up all models for launch day, or as someone else suggested, they are starting out with a build-to-order model because they don't know how many of each SKU to start with until they see the tendencies.

    Thompson

    It is obvious, due to the fact that some models were already showing that the ship times were 4 to 6 weeks, that it wasn't the watch that was the problem, but band production. Or an anodized watch body color, which requires additional manufacturing steps.
  • Reply 88 of 362
    brobcbrobc Posts: 8member
    cm477 wrote: »
    Space gray & Black, 42 mm: June delivery. I was kicking myself for forgetting to order it as soon as orders went live and was going to abandon the purchase this morning. But then I read the other posts here, and realized that even those who ordered this model right away had June deliveries. I guess I can look for alternative sources in the meantime. So I guess the speculation begins: huge demand or is Apple managing the supply closely? 
    I got one with 4/24-5/8 estimated delivery. Judging from the comments, it looks like I got lucky.
  • Reply 89 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    You are making shit up out of your addled imagination, asserting things without a shred of evidence, and using "logic" that ignores simpler possibilities.



    How about this? The Watch is a new threshold in miniaturization, complexity and design, using processes never brought to mass scale before, a supply-chain mare's nest like no other, assembled by a contract firm with no previous experience with such a device, and so on.



    In other words none of us have any idea why supplies do not meet demand at this point.

    Hmmm.

     

    I think that both of you have valid points of view and that they are not mutually exclusive.

     

    In other words, the manufacturing of this new device is a supreme challenge AND Apple now finds itself effectively in build-to-order mode since just about any model you buy now hasn't been built yet, and you can't pick one up in the stores.

  • Reply 90 of 362
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post





    It is obvious, due to the fact that some models were already showing that the ship times were 4 to 6 weeks, that it wasn't the watch that was the problem, but band production.

    I was able to purchase a 42mm stainless black sport band on the app with my iPad. I was trying simultaneously with my iPhone and iPad. Luckily I was able to get an April 24th delivery date. While I was in the process of completing my order, the same watch went to 4-6 shipping time frame within in minute. I think it's a good assumption that band production is limiting supply. At the same time, I'm sure Apple is being conservative with production output as well. 

  • Reply 91 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post





    It is obvious, due to the fact that some models were already showing that the ship times were 4 to 6 weeks, that it wasn't the watch that was the problem, but band production. Or an anodized watch body color, which requires additional manufacturing steps.

    All of the above, plus the aversion to inventory build-up at Apple.  They don't want to overestimate demand on any SKU.

  • Reply 92 of 362
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    I agree with all of this, with a twist:  I do think that Apple estimates conservatively on build plans of new products.  Not because they want to deliberately be undersupplied but rather because Tim has a well-documented aversion to being oversupplied.  Couple that with Apple's also well-documented history of having rabid customers (such as I) that desire the products, and I would say that's a recipe for demand exceeding supply.  Add in the fact that Cook's supply chain is typically made to be relatively nimble (somehow!) and we see that he can always ramp up to meet the demand eventually.  Not at the snap of a finger, but more like a months-long wave of a hand.  Pretty impressive, actually, given the scope of the effort.




    Well, we are going to quickly get ourselves into angels dancing on the head of a pin debates here, since we really don't have enough information to discuss it any other way. Still I resist the theory that Apple deliberately keeps demand well ahead of supply to feed the publicity beast. This isn't good business, no matter what anyone says.

  • Reply 93 of 362
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    isteelers wrote: »
    Exactly. Apple, "the colossus" is dependent on external manufacturing. There are only so many lines that can be set up for this without impacting other products. Labor is not an infinite resource. As they gauge demand during the pre-order phase, production will be ramped up accordingly. Not sure what is so hard to understand about this.
    Additionally, there's a considerably larger number of final product choices with the watch compared to the options that have been offered at the introductions of tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. Moreover, the options to the other products have been essentially choices among stock components that are plugged in before buttoning up the case - memory, storage, processor, and video. Here you're talking especially about watch cases, an entirely new class of components made from several different materials, which call for new manufacturing processes and have to be fabricated from the get-go. I see some resemblance to initial demand for the iPhone 5c, which offered gold cases in iPhones for the first time. I suspect the public reception for gold was far greater that Apple forecast in its initial manufacturing plan, and backlogs for most gold configurations became far longer than the gray and white versions.
  • Reply 94 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

     



    Still I resist the theory that Apple deliberately keeps demand well ahead of supply to feed the publicity beast. This isn't good business, no matter what anyone says.


    100% agreed.

  • Reply 95 of 362
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,064member

    Forget the intentional supply constraint theories. I believe Apple is making units as fast as possible (however slow it actually is and for whatever reasons), but the most important thing at this time is to get developers on board... to convince developers that the Apple Watch is The Platform of choice. With any new platform, it's a chicken-and-egg problem--apps vs. customers--and Apple is doing its darnedest to fertilize that chicken.

  • Reply 96 of 362
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post

     

     

    I sort of feel like Apple should have waited another year before launching. It all seems a bit rushed. It's not like they had any real competition for this thing. It looks like a great product, but one that's about 80-85% there. I guess iPhone was sort of the same,as it was really the 3GS or even the 4 before it was 100% as some other commenters have pointed out, so what am I bitching about really. 




    A product is never 100% ready, so waiting another year is simply depriving themselves of a huge amount of usage feedback that can be used to improved the next version. 

     

    This is why I never understand people who hold off upgrading machines for years while they're waiting for some magical thing to be invented  that will persuade them to buy.

  • Reply 97 of 362
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

     

    Sport ?Watch preordered moments after the store went live a few minutes late - 4-6 weeks delivery.


    Depending on what size though. I ordered mine 15 - 20 min after it went live and took 10 sec for the White Sport 38mm for Apr 24-May8 delivery. It appeared that most of the 42mm Space Grey Sport and SS dried up early. You can tell most of the dudes ordered watch at launch time.

  • Reply 98 of 362
    alandailalandail Posts: 703member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    If it only takes thousands to slip the date all the way from 2 weeks to 4-6 weeks, then that would be consistent with the shortage I am describing.  For whatever reason, millions of watches were not built in advance and almost ready for shipment to meet the 24th date.  The watches that are 4-6 weeks out haven't even been manufactured yet, and from what I could see when I got online last night, that was true of most models almost immediately.  Even if some thousands of people swiped some up before I saw these, it still points to low supply.

     

    I'm not suggesting this was necessarily a mistake on Apple's part.  I kind of like RadarTheKat's hypothesis that Apple doesn't really know yet how many of each SKU to make, so they're doing this online soft-launch to figure that out.




    check the responses to the story from last night.  The store went live on the phone/iPad apps several minutes before it went live on the web.  People who ordered off of the phone/iPad got delivery date of the 24th.  By the time the web went live, that had already slipped for several of the models.  The model I ordered, space grey sport, showed a 4-6 week delivery time as soon the web store went live, but people who ordered before then earlier go the earlier date.  

     

    There certainly could have been a heck of a lot more than "a few thousand" people ordering in that time frame.  This is an apple product release.  If a musician can sell out a 20k concert in a single city in a couple of minutes, how many products do you think an country wide Apple product release is capable of selling in a few minutes?  People know from experience that if you don't order at launch, it could take months to get one. That only increases the at launch demand.

     

    For me personally, I stopped ordering new iPhones at launch.  I just wait until I can pick one up at the store.  The time it took me to be able to get the iPhone 6 Plus, and the number of weeks people were still waiting in line, shocked me.  We know now that this was because Apple sold so many phones, 75 million in a quarter.  If Apple can build and ship 75 million phones in a quarter, they certainly should be capable of having more than a few thousand watches available at launch. 

  • Reply 99 of 362
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cm477 View Post

     

    Space gray & Black, 42 mm: June delivery. I was kicking myself for forgetting to order it as soon as orders went live and was going to abandon the purchase this morning. But then I read the other posts here, and realized that even those who ordered this model right away had June deliveries. I guess I can look for alternative sources in the meantime. So I guess the speculation begins: huge demand or is Apple managing the supply closely? 




    They've never sold a watch before so I can easily see them being cautious about inventory.

  • Reply 100 of 362
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gerard View Post



    My space gray sport won't ship until June...

    Early 2015 My Ass! :)

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