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

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Comments

  • Reply 101 of 362

    If you're going to make bold statements like "I can't believe that a colossus like Apple has not enough tine to make enough supply." when you by your own admission don't understand any of the difficulties in actually making things.

    So, the difficulty of getting a new product to market either isn't common sense, or you don't have any common sense.

    Oh, and for the record, I have graduated from an engineering university and have put new products into production, so unlike you, I do know what I'm talking about.

    Good for you mate!
  • Reply 102 of 362
    quinney wrote: »
    If you don't know, then don't run your mouth about it.

    21st century- Freedomof speech :)
  • Reply 103 of 362
    I ordered the Stainless in silver with link band at 12:03 (the app wouldn't load until then), got May 13 - May 27 and my order confirmation email was sent at 12:06. Like woodyplant said, I'm hoping it's like the iPhone 6 and these dates move up for people who got their orders in early. From what I saw around the web, Space Grey Sport seemed to have a 4/10 ship date for at least the first 20 minutes, then slipped to 4-6 and then slipped to June.
  • Reply 104 of 362
    isteelers wrote: »
    It amazed me that people still believe Apple has to resort to this type of stunt to sell their products. Demand has outstripped supply, simple as that.


    I didn't use the word stunt, but marketing
  • Reply 105 of 362

    So I have a problem...during the checkout process Apple Pay would not accept my home address as my billing address, forcing me to choose my work address. The order went through, but I am afraid that when they go to pre-auth my card it will be declined due to billing address mismatch.

     

    Does anyone know if this will cancel my preorder? If I call Apple to update the billing address will that negatively impact my preorder? I figured out the problem afterwards, my state was spelled out vs the two letter initial. Anyone ever have a preorder decline before?

  • Reply 106 of 362
    gregqgregq Posts: 62member

    Like many others, kept pushing the refresh button but still said "We'll be back soon" even a few minutes after. I then tried the app on my iphone, and snagged one, but in the time after adding ispace grey black band sportversion to the shopping cart, the delivery date had changed from April 24 to "April 23-May 8" delivery, so wasn't fast enough :)

    I didn't get a confirmation email, though looking in my orders web page it lists the order as processing. Also, no money deducted (I live in California) - I hope it doesn't get cancelled.

  • Reply 107 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    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. 

    I never said they only had a few thousand watches available at launch in total (across all SKUs).  I rather like Millmoss' estimate of 500,000 total, although that may have been a lower limit from him.

     

    Apple is certainly capable of having millions of watches available at launch.  But I doubt they did.  I know how much Tim hates inventory, and this being a new product with a lot of SKUs, he's not going to risk overestimating all of these SKUs.  Not when he has demonstrated the capability to ramp up if necessary over subsequent months.

  • Reply 108 of 362
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    You are making shit up out of your addled imagination, asserting things without a shred of evidence

    No, I'm speculating based on Apple's well documented business practices. Google "Apple supply chain" and educate yourself.

     

    In 2012 it was reported that Apple turns over its entire inventory every 5 days. 

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/05/31/apple_turns_over_entire_inventory_every_five_days

     

    They are continually ranked as the best in the world at this. Manufacturing a ton of inventory to sit around in warehouses is not their M.O.

  • Reply 109 of 362
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cicconegreek View Post





    I didn't use the word stunt, but marketing

    Whether you used the word or not, what you described would be a marketing stunt.  But you know that. Don't be obtuse.

  • Reply 110 of 362
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,772member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post



    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.

    I did notice that Apple notified me that a signature may be required. There is a bit of an upside of having the deliveries a little spread out - doorstep thieves might be a little less out of control. I can see some Bad Guys(tm) setting 4/24/15 as a day to pick up inventory. Those Apple delivery boxes all too obvious on people's porches.

     

    I remember buying my first Mac in 1993. A Powerbook Duo 230 with all the toys. Several large boxes. UPS left a door tag. I wasn't home, but wanted my toys, so I drove to the pickup center. I produced the door tag...and was handed $4000 in Apple merchandise, no questions asked.

  • Reply 111 of 362
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,824member
    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.


    Actually being an engineer, in manufacturing, and actually manufacturing stuff;

     

    First Apple would have estimated the market for the first year. For ease of analysis, I'm going to choose 12 million watches.

     

    That's 1 million a month. Apple would have had employees testing that various watch models for some time, and as the Edition is limited, Apple would have had a definite build schedule; I'll have to guess the mix of sports vs stainless steel.

     

    I'm going with a three to one sports to stainless steel, but choose your own numbers. That would be 750,000 sports watches and 250,000 stainless steel watches for the month. I'm going to assume that Apple would have liked to have at least a months production ready for initial sales, but I don't think that they were able to achieve that.

     

    Either way, Apple would have had the luxury of a maximized production rate on cases and watch crystals for at least the pre launch volumes. Again, I don't think they were up to the maximum production rate, and I also believe that this was due to production issues, not concerns about high inventory.

     

    So, starting today, Apple gets real data on what the future watch mix will be, and begins making adjustments, primarily cases and crystals. but also watch bands.

     

    From a machining standpoint, there are only four cases, and surface treatment can be accomplished on a very short time schedule for any of the four, likely hours. So the inventory question becomes; do we constrain the initial manufacturing in a conservative way so that we don't have excess inventory, or do we maximize production with a nod to fine tuning it later.

     

    Remember that lost sales means lost revenue, so Tim would have to acknowledge the value of inventory early on to mitigate lost sales. He would also like to have maximum sales early on for the benefit of Wall Street and stockholders.

     

    This is a very low risk strategy, and allows for JIT assembly and production line fine tuning, not unlike the fine tuning that occurred with the iPhone 6 mix.

     

    There is absolutely no hard rule about inventory for a new product launch, so I would caution those that are falling back to "what Tim would do" need to reevaluate their positions.

     

    I would fear for a company that had such little faith in its products that it wouldn't maximize its product launch, and I don't believe Apple would have done this.

     

    I'll let the analyst's have the final say down the road on what happened, or we will hear about it indirectly from sources other that Apple.

     

    For now, I'm firmly in the camp of manufacturing and/or assembly issues slowing down production, not excess inventory concerns.

  • Reply 112 of 362
    friedmudfriedmud Posts: 164member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    I favor RadarTheKat's hypothesis, presented yesterday to explain why Apple would go for online ordering, as also a good explanation for today's events as well.

     

    There are a hell of a lot of SKUs here, since Apple knows a wearable device will need to be personalizable.  What they can't do is pre-build a shit-ton of each and ship them to stores with fingers crossed.  Tim Cook HATES inventory.  So Apple institutes online ordering and shipping only, at least at first until they get good statistical data to guide the build plans.  For the same reason, they are not going to pre-build a shit-ton of each model and keep them at the factory for shipping to users on 4/24 either.  Whether in the stores or at the factories, it's still inventory, and Tim Cook frowns on it.

     

    So Apple builds enough of some of the less expensive models that they can indeed ship a few when they said they would.  The rest are more-or-less "build-to-order", and Apple will begin to gather their statistics, adjust their build plans, and get the factories ramped up as best they can.

     

    Makes sense to me.




    I don't quite buy this.

     

    There are really only 8 "models" that matter: silver aluminum, black aluminum, silver SS, black SS and each in 38mm and 42mm.  The bands can be matched later and stuffed in boxes easily... so they could have made 1M of each of these types of watches (8M total) and had them sitting there ready to have a band stuffed in it and shipped out.  That shouldn't cause a delay until June.

     

    Something else is going on here.  I suspect that there really was a real supply chain shortage somewhere.  Either they were having problems with tooling, maybe a last minute design change or even a raw materials issue... but for whatever reason it definitely seems like they didn't have nearly enough on hand to come close to meeting demand.

     

    Another thing: If they knew they were going to have such short supply... why all of the marketing?  Why spend $40M only to sell out immediately and leave a sour taste in a lot of consumers mouths?  To me, they should have done a quieter launch if they didn't have enough product and then ramped up marketing as they ramp up production..

     

    Maybe I'm just being sour though... since I ordered mine at 3:05 last night and I still have to wait 4-6 weeks for my SS with black sport band ;-)

  • Reply 113 of 362
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 598member
    High demand?...Constrained supply??...Apple is doomed... Oh, wait a minute,... Maybe the competitors are doomed?
  • Reply 114 of 362
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Yet that's the same logic applied when there's no lines for a competitor's device.

    Well the numbers do bear that out with respect to the competitors, doesn't it?
    cornchip wrote: »
    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 1st gen device will never be a 100% perfect. That said even 85% is damn good for a 1st gen.
    Nice marketing Apple Inc.! The last 3 years, every new product comes with a huge delay time to create a buzz! Classic!

    Apple doesn't need to artificially limit supplies for hype. Good business sense is to sell everything it can make.
  • Reply 115 of 362
    I ordered as fast as humanly possible and I still got 4-6 weeks for my steel watch with black sport band.
  • Reply 116 of 362
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    I've always found Apple's predicted shipping dates to be overly pessimistic. I doubt mainly of the early buyers will be waiting four weeks for the dispatch e-mail. 

  • Reply 117 of 362
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post





    No. People have been reporting different delays on different models.



    They really should have previewed "Apple's most personal product yet" in stores a week before pre-orders went live.



    Judging by these delays, I'm more inclined to believe that Apple has chosen a more build to order model, than massive sales. No doubt the preorders are going to be massive, but I think the inventory is minimal, and they will be assembling to meet demand. Think of it as the actual launch day is the 24th. Supplies will still be just as constrained by then, but by giving themselves a two week head start, they will come much closer to meeting actual demand with much less inventory on hand.



    Still?

    The droves of people who will say anything to minimize the popularity of the device will soon have nothing left to say, when real numbers are revealed. This is already as popular as the iPhone itself. Wait and see.

  • Reply 118 of 362
    friedmudfriedmud Posts: 164member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    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. 




    Damn. :-)

     

    I was slowed down because I was using Gift Cards to fund my purchase (I thought ahead and asked for Apple store gift cards from all of my extended family for Christmas :-)... and the iPhone and iPad apps weren't letting me do that.  I had to wait for the website to come up... then had to put in all of my gift card info.

     

    In that time my 42mm SS black sports band slipped to 4-6 weeks.  Sigh.

     

    It's good to hear that some people are actually going to get one on launch day though... but man am I jealous!

     

    I've got an appointment for tomorrow night to go try one on... can't wait!

  • Reply 119 of 362
    bbhbbh Posts: 131member



    The reality is you don't know "jack-squat". It never ceases to amaze me the number of "experts" out here who could run Apple better than the folks actually running it.

  • Reply 120 of 362
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

    I've always found Apple's predicted shipping dates to be overly pessimistic. I doubt mainly of the early buyers will be waiting four weeks for the dispatch e-mail. 




    Sometimes they are, just depends on how close you are to the cut off between first run, and the next scheduled batch. Apple knows down to the day when the next batch will be deliverable, and when they quote a long time frame in advance, its usually accurate.

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