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As announced earlier this week, preorders for the new Apple Watch Series 7 opened this morning, but while Apple had also announced that the first shipments would arrive in stores and in customers’ hands by next Friday, some models saw delivery dates sliding into November only seconds after the opening bell.
With reports that the new Apple Watch didn’t even enter mass production until mid-September, it always seemed likely that the initial stock levels would be pretty low, but it also appears that Apple may have misjudged the popularity of the higher-end stainless steel and titanium finishes, as those began showing November delivery dates almost immediately after preorders opened at 5 a.m. PDT this morning.
To be fair, we’re not sure if anybody managed to get an earlier delivery date for the Apple Watch Edition of the stainless steel Series 7 models. It’s entirely possible that these weren’t ever slated to be available for an October delivery — at least not on October 15. We’ve seen some reports of customers getting delivery dates as early as Oct 26, but nothing earlier than that.
In less than an hour, however, the entire Apple Watch Series 7 lineup was showing dates in November, regardless of size, cellular capabilities, or colour.
This means that if you order now, the best you’ll be able to get is a Nov 2–9 delivery window, but some models have shifted even farther, with most Apple Watch Edition models now simply showing delivery times of “30 business days” rather than specific dates.
That said, there may still be some hope if you really want to get your hands on an Apple Watch Series 7 next Friday. Since the new Apple Watch is expected to go on sale in stores “beginning Friday, October 15.”
While Apple says that this will include multiple retailers and even select carriers, it’s likely the bulk of the stock will be saved for Apple’s own retail stores. You may be able to order the new Apple Watch for in-store pickup, or even simply walk into a store and buy one in person — although we’d recommend getting there early.
It’s also worth noting that Best Buy is still showing release day shipping for most aluminum models right now. Plus, they’re offering six months of Apple Fitness+ for free to new subscribers. Stainless steel versions still aren’t expected to ship until October 25, however.
Carrier Availability and Pricing
If you’re looking at getting a cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 7, you may also be able to get one delivered soon by going through your preferred carrier.
For instance, Verizon is still showing Oct 15 availability for the basic starlight and midnight aluminum models, while the green, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED colours are listed as shipping by October 29, along with the stainless steel finishes.
The situation at T-Mobile is similar, with shipping dates listed from October 12 to November 1, depending on model. The 45mm Starlight aluminum is showing Oct 13–19, while the 41mm midnight aluminum is slightly earlier at Oct 12–18.
Despite these earlier dates, however, we doubt that they’ll arrive before Apple’s fixed date of Oct 15, but it does mean that if you want to sign up for an Apple Watch Series 7 on T-Mobile you have a pretty good chance of getting it by next Friday.
You’ll also find even more availability at AT&T, which seems to have all the aluminum colours slated for delivery between October 18 and October 25. The stainless steel finishes, however, are still showing arrival times of November 1–8.
The other bonus to getting your new Apple Watch from your carrier is that you’ll be able to spread out the payments, just like you can with a new iPhone. AT&T is offering the 45mm Apple Watch Series 7 for $14.73/month on a 0% APR 36-month installment plan, while T-Mobile and Verizon are doing around $22.09/month over 24 months. Verizon also offers an in-between option with a 30-month plan for $17.66/month.
Of course, you’ll also have to pay the necessary service fees for connecting your cellular Apple Watch, which is generally around $10/month on any of the big three carriers, although some will also tack a one-time activation fee onto that as well.
Still, if you intend to get a cellular Apple Watch anyway, getting it through your carrier may be the best way to go. The downside, of course, is that you’ll be locked into the financing for two years or more, but considering that usually takes two to three years to offer compelling Apple Watch updates, that’s not nearly as much of a problem for Apple’s wearable as it is for the iPhone.
Full Retail Pricing
The carriers will also let you buy the Apple Watch Series 7 outright, although for obvious reasons they’re only selling the cellular models. If you’re planning to pick up the GPS-only version, you’ll need to go through Apple or another traditional retailer like Best Buy.
Although Apple left us mostly in the dark until the last minute when it came to detailed pricing for the new models, the good news is that the Apple Watch Series 7 remains entirely in line with last year’s Apple Watch Series 6. Here are the base prices for each configuration:
- 41mm aluminum, GPS-only: $399
- 45mm aluminum, GPS-only: $429
- 41mm aluminum, GPS+Cellular: $499
- 45mm aluminum, GPS+Cellular: $529
- 41mm stainless steel, GPS+Cellular: $699
- 45mm stainless steel, GPS+Cellular: $749
- Apple Watch Edition, 41mm: $799
- Apple Watch Edition, 45mm: $849
The above prices are for the most basic bands — the Solo Loop, Sport Band, or Sport Loop — so they’ll only go up from there if you choose more premium bands. For instance, the 45mm Apple Watch Edition with a Leather Link or Milanese Loop is $899, while the Space Black Link Bracelet will take you all the way up to $1,249.
It’s also worth noting that Best Buy is currently showing the 45mm aluminum GPS Apple Watch models at the same $399 price as the 41mm versions. It’s unclear if this is a mistake or a promotional price, but you may be able to save $30 if you plan to go for the entry-level model.