People who were waiting to purchase an Apple Watch will be waiting for quite a while longer before they get one. Apple’s smartwatch became available for pre-order at 12:01 a.m. this morning, and hardware expected to arrive on launch day sold out in minutes. By 1 a.m., the Apple Watch Sport had an estimated shipping date of June.
As of this report, orders of the Sport and Edition models made right now aren’t estimated to ship until June. The stainless steel Apple Watch is slated to ship within 4-6 weeks, arriving in mid-May. It’s worth noting that Apple usually overestimates the time that it will take for a pre-ordered device to arrive, but it seems unlikely that the company still has stock that will arrive at launch on April 24.
It’s not clear yet what these shipping estimates mean for the company’s physical retail plans. Right now, the only way to purchase an Apple Watch is to pre-order it and have it shipped to an address of the user’s choosing. Starting today, people can sign up to try on the Watch in an Apple Store, but they’ll still have to pre-order online.
There’s some hope for people who want to receive their Watch sooner rather than later: because almost nobody has been able to try it on yet, it’s likely that some people will be changing their pre-orders, thereby bumping everyone else forward in line. It’s hard to say how much that will happen, but every little bit helps.
Here’s the bottom line for people who are thinking about ordering a Watch: pre-order as soon as possible. Apple won’t charge for the device until it ships, and it’s clear that demand for the device is outstripping the company’s ability to produce it.