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The highly-anticipated Apple Watch became available for pre-orders on April 10 of this year. Although now they place the number higher, market research firm Slice Intelligence estimated that 957,000 people ordered an Apple Watch the day it became available in the US. While many customers probably hoped to get their watch last Friday, April 24 (the official “launch date”), that same research firm estimates that only 22 percent of customers who pre-ordered an Apple Watch received one in the first wave of shipments.
Based on shipping notifications sent to its panel of two million online customers, Slice estimates that 376,000 watches have shipped of the 1.7 million pre-orders that were placed. According to the firm, 547,000 watches are scheduled to ship between April 27 and June 11, while 639,000 customers still haven’t received word as to when their order will be fulfilled yet. Thirty-three percent of customers are expected to receive their watch in April, 28 percent in May, and 1 percent in June, with the remaining 38 percent unknown.
The Apple Watch, representing a new product category for the company, is expected to be in short supply for quite some time. Pre-orders sold out within hours, and customers looking to try one on are forced to book an appointment to do so. According to market research analyst Carl Howe, the limited initial production run was by design – Apple limited initial supply in order to gauge the popularity of the different case sizes, styles, and bands among buyers. Although reports state that Apple is rushing to increase the supply of Apple Watches, many expect the item to remain on back-order until later this year.
As of right now, users that order an Apple Watch will have to wait an estimated 4-8 weeks for their order to ship. The watch isn’t expected to be available for in-store purchase for quite some time.