Launching a product so successful that pre-orders are overwhelming is something that Apple should be used to by now. Missing the mark by so much that your supply is out-matched by demand to the point that you can’t make product available in stores is a bit much. This is the current situation with the new Apple Watch, Apple’s first new product category since 2010 and its hope for a strong start in Q3.
Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is seen in a leaked video telling retail employees how to best assist customers with the Apple Watch. It acknowledges that retail employees have been “bombarded with questions” regarding the availability of the product. Within a short window, pre-orders for the Apple Watch were quoting 4-6 weeks delivery time, and it was announced stores will not actually be carrying the device for purchase. It appears that the launch date of April 24 was more of a shipping date for some of the pre-orders than an actual release date. Within hours of pre-orders opening on April 10, the Apple Watch the new device was almost instantaneously sold out.
As a metric for determining how effectively Apple has handled this supply kerfuffle, Slice Intelligence took a crack at measuring how many Apple watches had actually been delivered from the 1.7 million pre-orders placed. From their investigation, it seems only about 22 percent of those orders have shipped. This is abnormally low for Apple and obviously a cause of frustration for waiting customers.
According to Slice, around 33 percent of the total Apple Watch shipments should take place in April, with the rest being spread out though May, June, and “Unknown Delivery.” The 38 percent that fall under unknown delivery are still waiting to hear a delivery date from Apple, so it could be quite a while.