Initial Apple Watch production likely build-to-order as Apple gauges demand for different models, an

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  • Reply 21 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,342member
    thompr wrote: »
    I was ripped up on this forum for suggesting something like this within mere hours of the sellout on the morning of the tenth.
    Yup, I remember that.
  • Reply 22 of 52
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,597member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I find this kind of meaningless considering it appears to be a store unit running demo software. Who knows what the boot time will be for watches sold to consumers.

    You're right. Meaningless as the store at he's are not setup to connect to anything via Bluetooth or wifi. That is why the weather app won't connect. They are just set up to show functionality.
  • Reply 23 of 52
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,521member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Build to order sort of makes sense, I guess. But I also find that prospect frightening.

    (prepared to cut their losses if ?Watch fails)


    I don't think that's the way they were looking at it.  I think Apple/Cook were looking at it more like prevention of loss on specific SKUs if they didn't get the mix right.  Don't forget, Apple has gotten mix predictions wrong before (iPhone 5S versus iPhone 5C) and it kind of stung them for a while.  

  • Reply 24 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,342member
    freerange wrote: »
    You're right. Meaningless as the store at he's are not setup to connect to anything via Bluetooth or wifi. That is why the weather app won't connect. They are just set up to show functionality.
    FWIW a reviewer at Mashable who actually has an Apple Watch mentioned the same long boot times.

    Otherwise he praises it for it's "snappiness" and good looks.

    "My experience with the Apple Watch started off with disappointment. An Apple rep pressed the digital crown, which is also used to scroll and zoom on the interface, to start up the device. It took quite a while to launch. I thought that if everything was this slow, the Apple Watch would be the company's first catastrophic failure in more than a decade. That long boot time set expectations super low, but everything else vastly exceeded them. I also never again had to restart the watch."

    BTW it's a really good and very positive review.
    http://mashable.com/2015/04/08/apple-watch-review/

    EDIT: There's a great Apple support doc too explaining the heart rate monitoring:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666
  • Reply 25 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ECats View Post



    Analysts have a habit of making broad, over simplified assumptions from small pieces of data. (such as the ever unreliable "supply chain checks") this is no exception, it's so simple, it's inane. Seemingly ignoring obvious, well supported conclusions in favour for dubious, yet attention grabbing, ones.



    The idea that Apple were blind to demand before pre-orders commenced is patently incorrect. Apple's own design staff have a history of producing nearly identical bands (see Marc Newson's Ikepod watches.) Thus Apple would know popular options even before purchasing watch sales data/research. Apple also had a trove of potential buyers using the Apple Store app to register their preferred option well before pre-orders became available.



    It's a gross oversimplification to suggest that Apple prebuilt very few models and over relied on pre-orders to direct construction. Firstly this doesn't reflect the lead time to produce each watch housing before launch day deliveries, and secondly this would also mean that all watches in back order would have a similar wait time. Instead there are noticeable differences between similar models.



    Certainly Apple would be tuning production to the popular pre-order models, however the much more likely reason why the watches sold out so quickly is very simple: The launch was very successful.

     

    I believe the problem to be more complicated than you give it credit. Even if Apple knows particular bands are going to be popular, many of the bands come in different sizes. At every breakdown in product line Apple would have to estimate the outcome. I do believe you are correct that users favoriting a model was more for Apple to determine what to build than it was for users to pre-order when the store went live. That data would have been used to start cranking out more components for popular items. They still got the mix wrong given the much higher availability of the 38mm watches. The data from favoriting models was probably already too late for the initial builds given the lead times they would have for the cover glass, etc. The pre-order would then go on to further refine their understanding as well as changes to that data once the try-ons start impacting the data with people changing their orders or canceling their "alternative" design they pre-ordered. 

     

    Marc's previous designs would tell them some information, but the targeted consumers are different and maybe even more so with the early adopters. That data probably helped Apple determine which devices and bands to even offer. I'm sure they had truckloads of designs in consideration. I suspect these "special" bands being dolled out are actually design samples that Apple decided not to take to market yet. That is a win win as Apple gets use for the samples they made to evaluate the options, and these celebs get unique promotional items. 

     

    I suspect it is going to take Apple a couple of quarters to get a better understanding of demand given so many variables. The early adopters are probably skewing the data along with other factors like initial offer countries. When Apple opens up new markets, the mix will be a question yet again. This reminds me of something Apple said on a conference call. They didn't know what the demand breakdown really was on the iPhone 6 / iPhone 6+ since they were selling every device they could make. The speed in which various models sells out is all they really know at this point with the watch too. That is certain better than nothing. I'm sure Apple is spending a great deal of time and effort to manage the build mix as best they can. They are better at this than pretty much everyone, but this watch with all the options has got to be their most challenging launch  for build planning.

  • Reply 26 of 52
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,521member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

     

    I believe the problem to be more complicated than you give it credit. Even if Apple knows particular bands are going to be popular, many of the bands come in different sizes. At every breakdown in product line Apple would have to estimate the outcome. I do believe you are correct that users favoriting a model was more for Apple to determine what to build than it was for users to pre-order when the store went live. That data would have been used to start cranking out more components for popular items. They still got the mix wrong given the much higher availability of the 38mm watches. The data from favoriting models was probably already too late for the initial builds given the lead times they would have for the cover glass, etc. The pre-order would then go on to further refine their understanding as well as changes to that data once the try-ons start impacting the data with people changing their orders or canceling their "alternative" design they pre-ordered. 

     

    Marc's previous designs would tell them some information, but the targeted consumers are different and maybe even more so with the early adopters. That data probably helped Apple determine which devices and bands to even offer. I'm sure they had truckloads of designs in consideration. I suspect these "special" bands being dolled out are actually design samples that Apple decided not to take to market yet. That is a win win as Apple gets use for the samples they made to evaluate the options, and these celebs get unique promotional items. 

     

    I suspect it is going to take Apple a couple of quarters to get a better understanding of demand given so many variables. The early adopters are probably skewing the data along with other factors like initial offer countries. When Apple opens up new markets, the mix will be a question yet again. This reminds me of something Apple said on a conference call. They didn't know what the demand breakdown really was on the iPhone 6 / iPhone 6+ since they were selling every device they could make. The speed in which various models sells out is all they really know at this point with the watch too. That is certain better than nothing. I'm sure Apple is spending a great deal of time and effort to manage the build mix as best they can. They are better at this than pretty much everyone, but this watch with all the options has got to be their most challenging launch  for build planning.


    Bingo.  More people should spend the time to think of the nuances rather than just finding the quickest argument to support a previously held bias.

  • Reply 27 of 52
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    So the same thing we've been saying here.



    Well, I guess an analyst has to be right sometimes.



    So are those of us who drew the same conclusions weeks ago "long time Apple observers" too?

     

    Actually, some of us are.

  • Reply 28 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Noted this video posted today showing the Apple Watch boot time and sequence. Looks like it takes just over a minute to start up, but it's certainly possible it's taking longer than it will in actual use if the somewhat longish time is partly due to establishing an in-store wi-fi connection. Should only be another few days before consumers post their own videos.

     

     

    The thing that concerns me about that video is the portrait masking. Not so much that it moves about wildly, but that they cut out the iPad that the watch is tethered too. So we have no idea what this other device is doing. The two are tied together for the purpose of the demo stations. When you navigate on the watch, the iPad tells you about the application you navigated to. It is probably also the stand-in "iPhone" for operational elements. I thought this demo experience was outstanding when I used one of these stations. Either way, we will see what the production units boot like with "normal" software under "normal" conditions. Not seeing the stat of the other half of this demo station is one issue. Plus the fact that it is a demo station that works with an iPad for a special purpose is also an issue against using this as any kind of assumption about the watches actual boot times, etc.

  • Reply 29 of 52
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    I was ripped up on this forum for suggesting something like this within mere hours of the sellout on the morning of the tenth.




    It's the "build to order" part that is being perhaps over-simplified. It's unlikely Apple is getting your order then building your watch. They are probably approaching this more like JIT assembly. The watches and bands are mated last so that the retail product mix can be adjusted to demand, but that mix isn't going to be predictable until the preorders start coming in. Adjustments to the mix can be made fairly quickly, but not instantaneously. My conclusion is some of those shipping dates are probably conservative.

  • Reply 30 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So I saw this on Twitter:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/okassim/status/589772108361695233

    Spotted at the Canton Fair, the Apple Watch’s Chinese Siblings are out early at $32 a pop. pic.twitter.com/1Gi4jfVsy9
    7:46am - 19 Apr 15

    CC9KmcuUkAAHwmQ.jpg

    Can Apple sue over this stuff? I know it's impossible to go after clones but in this case they appear to be using actual photographs of the Apple Watch trying to pass it off as their own product.
  • Reply 31 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    FWIW a reviewer at Mashable who actually has an Apple Watch mentioned the same long boot times.

    Otherwise he praises it for it's "snappiness" and good looks.

    "My experience with the Apple Watch started off with disappointment. An Apple rep pressed the digital crown, which is also used to scroll and zoom on the interface, to start up the device. It took quite a while to launch. I thought that if everything was this slow, the Apple Watch would be the company's first catastrophic failure in more than a decade. That long boot time set expectations super low, but everything else vastly exceeded them. I also never again had to restart the watch."

    BTW it's a really good and very positive review.
    http://mashable.com/2015/04/08/apple-watch-review/

    EDIT: There's a great Apple support doc too explaining the heart rate monitoring:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666

    I know Apple told the Verge a software update was coming (I think partially related to slow launch times for 3rd party apps). I wonder if the software on the watches shipped to consumers will be the same firmware as what was on the review units?
  • Reply 32 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Android Wear got a big update today but I see they're still trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    [IMG]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CDC0QiyUsAAiguE.png[/IMG]
  • Reply 33 of 52
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,521member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

     



    It's the "build to order" part that is being perhaps over-simplified. It's unlikely Apple is getting your order then building your watch. They are probably approaching this more like JIT assembly. The watches and bands are mated last so that the retail product mix can be adjusted to demand, but that mix isn't going to be predictable until the preorders start coming in. Adjustments to the mix can be made fairly quickly, but not instantaneously. My conclusion is some of those shipping dates are probably conservative.


    I can agree with this.

  • Reply 34 of 52
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     

    Yes, the same thing several of us were saying on the morning after pre-orders started.  And I recall several other people on here essentially telling us that we were crazy.




    Yes I recall that too. I actually wrote "Apple is essentially a build to order company", based on the revelation a few years ago that due to Tim Cook's shrewd manipulation of the supply chain that Apple turned over their entire inventory every 5 days -- and that was 3 years ago, so who knows what it is today. While not literally BTO, they seem to be essentially analyzing customer demand to predict what configuration they should build during the next 5 day window (assuming it's still that long). But like BTO, that puts them in the unique position of not over building where there is no demand, yet they aren't sitting around waiting for a custom order. It's pretty amazing they can do that.

  • Reply 35 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,342member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Android Wear got a big update today but I see they're still trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    CDC0QiyUsAAiguE.png

    It displays differently, more like the Apple Watch on the rectangular Android Wear watch faces. There's several of those BTW along with a few round versions. While Google's wearable software doesn't appear to be as "finished" as Apple's some buyers probably appreciate having more style choices. There's room for lots of different designs in the marketplace and they'll only get better, the Apple Watch included. It's still really early in wearables.

    700
  • Reply 36 of 52
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    They will hold back supply to create demand. That is simply how other supposed luxury items create demand.
    99 cent to $4 for a strap and $15 to $20 for the main watches is as close to zero risk as you can get.

    nope. the notion that apple is intentionally not producing inventory in order to build up demand is crazy-person talk. theyre *already* the most desired CE goods in the world, which has made them the most-profitable publicly traded company. they make that profit by *selling goods*, not by not-selling goods. as Cook has said -- the problem apple has is they cant make their goods fast enough.

    read the article this post is about -- the paper lobsters. it's hard and it takes time.
  • Reply 37 of 52
    thompr wrote: »
     


    It's the "build to order" part that is being perhaps over-simplified. It's unlikely Apple is getting your order then building your watch. They are probably approaching this more like JIT assembly. The watches and bands are mated last so that the retail product mix can be adjusted to demand, but that mix isn't going to be predictable until the preorders start coming in. Adjustments to the mix can be made fairly quickly, but not instantaneously. My conclusion is some of those shipping dates are probably conservative.
    I can agree with this.

    Yes!

    AIR, between the Sport and Watch models, there are 8 case material/color/size combinations:
    • al silver gray x2 sizes
    • al space gray x2 sizes
    • ss silver x2 sizes
    • ss black x2 sizes

    Combined with the various bands there were ~ 32 separate SKUs.

    It makes sense to build cases and bands based on projections -- then tweak this with preorder data.

    And JIT assemble the case/band SKUs.


    I suspect the Edition Watches are BTO!
  • Reply 38 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    That would be a very sensible approach. No need to build inventory that isn't needed, Apple isn't Samsung after all! :D

    There would not have been unneeded inventory. Everything would've sold.
  • Reply 39 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,342member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Looks like you are still in denial.

    We wont see a round Apple Watch for a very long time if ever.

    Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be to write apps for both a rectangle and a round face OS?  Ridiculous.  Its either all round or all rectangle.  Only Android does both because they are idiots and don't care about the quality of their product.

    I'm sorry, did I miss where I said Apple will offer a round version in that particular post? As far as your comment about Android you're not thinking apparently. Google doesn't build smart-watches. They supply an OS to licensees that want to offer their own unique designs. You know "together, not the same". Google isn't dictating design, nor should they IMHO.

    BTW, do you write apps for wearables?
  • Reply 40 of 52
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    It displays differently, more like the Apple Watch on the rectangular Android Wear watch faces. There's several of those BTW along with a few round versions. 

    I was in Best Buy this weekend to get a headphone adapter and I walked by the self serve watch area. What a disaster. There were watches all over the place in piles. Some on the table, some on the back of the display area. Every shape color and configuration you could imagine but they all looked like cheap junk. Absolutely no comparison to Apple Store where two or three attendants were continuously cleaning the display cases.

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