Apple Watch orders will be online-only during launch period due to strong demand

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2015
Apple on Thursday confirmed that orders for the upcoming Apple Watch will be available exclusively online during the launch window, as the company expects that consumer demand will outstrip available supply of units.




The company issued a reminder stating that in-store previews and preorders will begin on Friday, ahead of the April 24 launch. But preorders will be available online-only, and users who try on the unit in stores will not be able to place an order there.

The Apple Watch will be available for in-store pickup if a user decides to have the device delivered to a store. But the initial orders must be placed through Apple's website, the company revealed.

The Apple Watch will debut in just over two weeks in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.K. Customers in those countries will also be able to try on the device with an appointment starting Friday, April 10.

Preorders for the Apple Watch are also scheduled to begin Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, 3:01 a.m. Eastern.
"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." - Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts
"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 favorite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch," said Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores. "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."

Also beginning April 24, the Apple Watch will be available at boutiques in major cities including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan.

Word first surfaced earlier this week that Ahrendts was planning to push orders online for not only the Apple Watch, but also the new 12-inch MacBook. Apple's retail chief is apparently hoping to change customer opinion that the company's product launches come standard with long lines, constrained channel supply, and low in-store inventory.

"This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen," she wrote in a letter to Apple's retail employees. "Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You'll make their day."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 170
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,284member
    A lot of naysayers are going to feasting on some crow soon....
  • Reply 2 of 170
    cgs268cgs268 Posts: 55member
    I truly wish them the best of luck... but the pricing of these watches is ridiculous. I was expecting the price to be half as much and I was still not convinced I needed one. But now it's a definite no.
  • Reply 3 of 170
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    I'm still on the fence about this about-face on lineups and the decision to make online the only channel.

    I still feel that lineups are a great barometer for early product success.

    Let's hope Apple's servers don't go down from all the activity .... or hope they do? ;)
  • Reply 4 of 170
    kindredmackindredmac Posts: 153member
    So in order to get an Apple Watch, you will pretty much have to order one before you go in for your appt... Meaning that if you order a 42mm, then go to your appt and realize you actually want the 38mm (or vice versa) you will have to cancel your previous order and reorder, hoping that there were anymore left to order from?
  • Reply 5 of 170
    peterjh3peterjh3 Posts: 15member
    "Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You'll make their day."

    And then they'll have to wait weeks on end to get said product. I don't think she worded that too greatly.
  • Reply 6 of 170
    prokipprokip Posts: 150member
    Does that man I can see an actual Apple Watch in person at 9:00 AM on 10 April in an Australian Apple Store even though we are 17 hours ahead of US PST. ( An no, for you smart alecks out there, I do not know last night's game score ! Duh ...)
  • Reply 7 of 170
    kindredmac wrote: »
    So in order to get an Apple Watch, you will pretty much have to order one before you go in for your appt... Meaning that if you order a 42mm, then go to your appt and realize you actually want the 38mm (or vice versa) you will have to cancel your previous order and reorder, hoping that there were anymore left to order from?

    No, you order one of each online at 12:01am PST and then cancel the one you don't need after the in-store appointment to try them on.
  • Reply 8 of 170
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cgs268 View Post



    I truly wish them the best of luck... but the pricing of these watches is ridiculous. I was expecting the price to be half as much and I was still not convinced I needed one. But now it's a definite no.



    Excellent! That is one less person I have to elbow out of my way. 9,999,999 to go.

  • Reply 9 of 170
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,620member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post



    So in order to get an Apple Watch, you will pretty much have to order one before you go in for your appt... Meaning that if you order a 42mm, then go to your appt and realize you actually want the 38mm (or vice versa) you will have to cancel your previous order and reorder, hoping that there were anymore left to order from?



    Well, if you expect you might need to cancel your original order, then order both and cancel the one you don't want!  Problem solved.

  • Reply 10 of 170
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,300member
    I won't take this story as the last word on the matter since important details may have been left out, but if such a story were accurate it certainly would hobble the entire order process. I wouldn't place an order for a watch that I couldn't try on first.
  • Reply 11 of 170
    One thing is certain: Watch is going to outsell Android Wear's lifetime totals just with preorders.
  • Reply 12 of 170

    Apple Store in Hong Kong told me they will have watches on display at opening time tomorrow morning, so, if accurate, the same should be true for Australia.



    Problem for me is that I'm not currently using my credit cards, so I guess I can't preorder, even if I'm holding $600 in cash to get one in my hand.

  • Reply 13 of 170
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    A lot of naysayers are going to feasting on some crow soon....



    Nah, they’ll say what they always say, that the constraints are fake and a marketing ploy. Remember, Apple is a marketing company only and does not invent or innovate. Apple merely appropriates, packages and markets the hard work of others.

     

    Or so ‘they’ say.

  • Reply 14 of 170
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by prokip View Post



    Does that man I can see an actual Apple Watch in person at 9:00 AM on 10 April in an Australian Apple Store even though we are 17 hours ahead of US PST. ( An no, for you smart alecks out there, I do not know last night's game score ! Duh ...)



    All that's definitely happening tomorrow is preorders will go live on Apple's website at 5:01pm Sydney time. I don't if there will be ones in stores to look at or not.

  • Reply 15 of 170
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I won't take this story as the last word on the matter since important details may have been left out, but if such a story were accurate it certainly would hobble the entire order process. I wouldn't place an order for a watch that I couldn't try on first.

    I'm buying a sport watch for myself, and possibly a second for a friend, if allowed. I'm not too worried about spending $400 or so sight unseen, and it being a first generation product, I reserve the right to wring it out for two years and pass it on to somebody else when and if the third generation meets my expectations. The difference the next time around is that I expect some technical improvements, more sensors, and with that, I will probably upgrade to a stainless steel or other material that they have hinted at (carbon fiber please!). 

  • Reply 16 of 170
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,300member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Your loss then.  Millions will be ordering the watch sight unseen.  

    As I've previously mentioned, the first gen watch isn't for me anyway (price is not an issue), so enjoy your purchase.
  • Reply 17 of 170
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,300member
    sog35 wrote: »

    So why did you mention you won't buy a watch you can't try on first?

    Because I wouldn't. That you would is irrelevant to my decision making. At this point, it's not even clear this story is accurate, so why are you getting your panties in a bunch?
  • Reply 18 of 170
    I won't take this story as the last word on the matter since important details may have been left out, but if such a story were accurate it certainly would hobble the entire order process. I wouldn't place an order for a watch that I couldn't try on first.

    I will preorder sight unseen myself but I think it'll be a huge turn off if people come to the store and try it on and then the employee says okay well thanks for coming now go on your lonesome on your iPhone or iPad or go home to your computer or go to one of these Macs in the Apple Store and login to our online store and order from there.

    I just hope that the employee working with the person to demo the ? Watch will walk them through the order process in the store if the customer wants to do so so. There should be no lag time between a person demoing the watch and wanting to order if they so choose.

    Now the real question I have that I haven't found an answer to anywhere else…when can I schedule an appointment to demo the ? Watch? Is the scheduling of appointments going to be available at midnight Friday when preorders become available?
  • Reply 19 of 170
    cgs268cgs268 Posts: 55member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Expecting a full stainless steel watch to be priced at $500 is ridiculous.

    Expecting the sport to start at $175 is ridiculous.

    Expecting a solid 18k gold watch to start at $5000 is ridiculous.

     

    The only ridiculous thing is your price expectations.

     

    IMO, you should buy an Android watch if you are so hard up for cash.




    Don't be unnecessarily aggressive. It's not smart.

     

    The point I'm making is that I'd be happy to buy something I don't need (because my iPhone pretty much does everything I'd use the Watch for) with the expectation that this new gadget would be priced according to its size. I mean, the Watch is a small iPod touch. At $175 I would consider the Sport model.  Now, this is a personal decision that only affects me, so I don't understand why you're getting up in arms. 

     

    I didn't know Android made watches, so I'll leave that buying option to you.

  • Reply 20 of 170
    cgs268cgs268 Posts: 55member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

     



    Excellent! That is one less person I have to elbow out of my way. 9,999,999 to go.




    well, according to this article, you may not have to elbow anyone.

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