Without sufficient stock, Apple should not have launched Apple Watch

“Sure, Apple has reportedly sold 2.3 million watches already which will prompt many, including analysts, to hail the launch as an immediate success,” Carly Page writes for The Inquirer. “From a consumers’ perspective, however, the Apple Watch launch couldn’t have been worse.”

“As regular readers of The INQUIRER will probably have guessed, I’d quite like an Apple Watch,” Page writes. “That won’t be possible until at least June, though, as the Apple Watch sold out online in just six hours.”

“Apple had originally promised a 24 April release date, which has since been wiped from its US website, but even those who managed to hit the pre-order button at 08.01 precisely last Friday were greeted with the message that their Watch would ship in four to six weeks. This has since slipped to July and even August for some models,” Page writes. “Surely, Apple being Apple, it should have been aware of the huge demand the Apple Watch was likely to see. And surely, once it had caught on that the Watch would sell in its millions from the get-go, it could have made sure it had enough stock available before it put the gadget on sale. Not enough stock available? Don’t launch it yet.”

Page writes, “The decision to go ahead with the launch, despite a lack of stock, appears to many that the cracks in the company are starting to show, and it tarnishes Apple’s long-held reputation for the excellence of its product launches.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple began the “launch” of the Apple Watch on September 9, 2014 in order to freeze the market for Christmas 2014. No sense having people buy random stupidwatches that might delay their first Apple Watch purchase unnecessarily while lining the pockets of the stupidwatch peddlers (Samsung, Motorola, etc.). We do not know that Apple knew it lacked stock. Cook obviously though he’d have sufficient supply by late April/early May. Either demand has significantly exceeded Apple’s expectations or there are some unforeseen production yield issues for some Apple Watch component(s) that have cropped up very recently or both.

Related article:
Apple has totally botched the Apple Watch launch – April 17, 2015
Highly sought-after Apple Watch won’t hit retail store shelves until June at the earliest – April 16, 2015
Ahrendts memo: Apple Watches will not be available to buy in-store throughout May – April 16, 2015
Analyst: Low Apple Watch supply due to haptic motor and OLED display issues – April 15, 2015
Apple Watch deliveries could arrive sooner than expected – April 14, 2015
Apple Watch preorder data estimate: 1.24 million Apple Watches were preordered in the U.S. on Friday alone – April 13, 2015
Apple Watch first weekend preorders destroy Android Wear’s annual sales – April 13, 2015
Average U.S. Apple Watch pre-order was $707 – April 13, 2015
Apple Watch first-day pre-orders estimated near 1 million – April 13, 2015
Apple likely to quickly ramp up Apple Watch production – April 13, 2015
Apple Watch pre-order shipping estimates stretch into summer – April 11, 2015
Apple Watch sold out in minutes; didn’t preorder in time, how’s June sound? – April 10, 2015
Here are the dates you can expect to get your Apple Watch – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch on fire as Apple sells out fast – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch draws strong turnout at Apple Retail Stores – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch already sold out – April 10, 2015
Open thread: Did you get your Apple Watch preorder placed? – April 10, 2015

64 Comments

    1. All you first world problem people…

      1. Stop making excuses for Apple. Listen to yourselves, including MDN. Just stop it already. It’s sad.
      2. None of you know what’s really going on at Apple, you’re speculating at best.

      I was in the Apple Store the other day and a staff member told me that they were told Apple had 45 million Watches in the pipeline for stock. Well, I am certain that isn’t the case because there’s no way they sold that many on opening weekend and are now sold out.

      Something is going on at Apple. As mentioned, there could be a yield issue, which wouldn’t be surprising because this is a new product for them and very small so complexity in manufacturing it could be high in some respects.

      Regardless, make no excuses for Apple. Yield issues or not, they’re not shipping it in time. The estimated delivery times are just too far out to be acceptable from this large company who has many launches under their belt with high demand.

      And let’s not forget the new 12″ MacBook… anyone seen that Unicorn anywhere? Ya, neither have I.

      This isn’t just about Apple Watch. They’ve botched the MacBook launch too. I said this before and I’ll say it again: I am on the fence with Tim Cook. Not sure about him. And Ahrendts… I said this as soon as she was hired… she knows nothing about technology and it’s not a good hire.

      All you guys do is make excuses for these overpaid people. Wake up. The don’t care about you. They make millions of dollars. I don’t care how tired they are. How many hours they spend working. So do we. Get it right, or get out and get people that can get the job done.

      As it is, we have no idea how well the Apple Watch is going to do over the next year. It may flop, it may be successful… this next year will be a deciding factor for Tim Cook and whether he’s the right guy to lead Apple or not.

      My prediction is that the Apple Watch will not be a runaway success like the iPhone because it’s a product too compromised. Battery life, small screen. It’s notification hell on wheels: it’s information in and very little ability to send communications out of it because of lack of input. No keyboard. Siri only works in quiet private areas: you’re not going to text people regularly using Siri. We’re humans and live in noisy places with other humans. This applies to phone calls too.

      It has some applications and is cool, but it’s a suspect product in terms of its utility.

      1. Ridiculous post. Apple sold 2.3 million Watches (note: NOT Apple’s number). On the release of the iPhone 6/6+, Apple sold 10 million iPhones and the 6+ sold out very quickly, with wait times extending to the 4-6 week mark shortly thereafter.

        Your prediction that the Watch will not be a runaway success is already torpedoed by the fact that Apple can’t build them fast enough. You haven’t even used one for any length of time, yet you’re doing nothing but criticizing the design and functionality. Please troll somewhere else.

        1. Bizlaw:

          Not ridiculous.

          Fact 1. There is no clear explanation from Apple why shipping times are 4-6 weeks just a few HOURS after the device went up for pre-order.
          Fact 2. Nobody, but nobody, knows how many Watches Apple has sold. They typically do a press release bragging about opening weekend sales. That has not happened, yet.
          Fact 3. I have used the Apple Watch, and I can criticize whatever I damn well wish to criticize.
          Fact 4. You have no idea, neither does anyone else, if the Apple Watch will be a success. We shall see after 1 year if sales are good and people are actually using them. Rather than sales becoming staggered and the Watches sitting in a drawer.

          1. Re Fact 1: Perhaps because they sold every unit available and are estimating delivery times on what’s currently in the manufacturing pipeline.

            Re Fact 2: Apple won’t do that until the device is actually released (Clue: April 24th).

            Re Fact 3: So what? So have lots of other people. Your “point’ is utterly irrelevant.

            Re Fact 4: Very true but I and a lot of other people would be very surprised if sales were anything less than stellar—see point 1.

            =:~)

            1. Chas:

              Re Fact 1: They could have sold every unit they had, but that says nothing. We have no idea how MANY those were. So there’s no point in talking about this much further right now.

              Re Fact 2: WRONG! Apple announces pre-order numbers PRIOR to devices being available in store. iPhone 4S is an example. After the PRE-ORDER opening “weekend”, they released a press release right after bragging about pre-order numbers. This press release came out several days BEFORE the units were officially available in stores. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/10iPhone-4S-Pre-Orders-Top-One-Million-in-First-24-Hours.html
              Re Fact 3: Yes, so have lots of other people criticized it. My point is not irrelevant. My point is that I can criticize it because I’ve used it. That was in response to the other poster who claimed I’m criticizing something I haven’t used. Too many fanboy assumptions… and my point is also relevant because I’m a potential customer. If I don’t like it, it’s important to listen why.
              Re Fact 4: We have no idea what sales are. In spite of my critique of the Watch, I believe initial sales will be good because of fanboys buying it. But I’m in interested in the long-term viability (1 year out). An initial rush of sales does not a product make. We have no idea if sales will taper off and whether these things are sitting in a drawer 6 months from now.

            2. STOP IT! This pissing contest will solve nothing. Both of you are getting worked up (and probably wasting time at work) on something that really isn’t very important in our lives.

            3. Right,
              People like silverfuck need to get their heads out of apples ass. You are exactly right. The truth hurts fanbois. Shut it down.

        2. You’re right, Apple has not released numbers.. And about half of that 2.3 million is probably based on the Slice estimate of 1.3 Apple Watches purchased by the extrapolated 957,000 purchasers. That analysis is further based on e-receipts from 9080 or so of the 2 million actual people that Slice has data on (<0.5%). As far as the U.S. is concerned the only 'hard' number we have is the 9080 e-receipts that purchased the estimated 1.3 watches each. So say a bit over 10,000 units. Everything else so far is simply a guess.

          1. Right now everything seems uncharacteristically vague. The only conclusion is that there’s issues going on internally. We are right at the time when Apple should be releasing a press release bragging about their sales numbers. But that hasn’t happened. Reading corporate double talk from Angela and Tim, etc. is no help. Of course they’re going to say “Customers love the Apple Watch!”. How many have you sold, Apple? Out with it already.

            1. They never release iPhone numbers after the presale weekend. By the way they may never tell us watch numbers. They’ve already said the watch sales won’t be reporting watch numbers in their financial reports.

      2. Ok, you’re absolutely right! Apple is not a perfect company, they suffer from some of the same afflictions, and weaknesses as you, or me, or for that matter anyone else, but I know that when I miss the mark I prefer that people understand my limitations… within reason of course, and such is the course when attempting to do something entirely new. The Apple watch is ENTIRELY NEW, not only to Apple, but to everyone else. No other company has envisioned the WATCH as Apple has… its various sizes, casings, straps, prices, apps, hand-off capability, etc. It’s unique in every imaginable way! SO, hey, give-em a lil break, yes? Oh yeah, one other thing, just because you personally can’t see the utility in it, doesn’t mean that millions of others fail to see and vision its enormous utility now, and on into the future. Give it a minute, you’ll get it. Peace

      3. @Dftr: “Battery life…notification hell…very little ability to send communications out…Siri only works in quiet private areas”

        Everything you wrote there is incorrect.

        In fact, your whole comment was incorrect.

      4. Stop it, yourself. You have no more idea than anyone else, but you like to take the contrarian view.

        There has *never* been enough of an Apple product at launch in modern times. Apple tends to catch up within one to three months in most cases, ramping up production to meet demand. Apple loathes product oversupply. JIT inventory is the word.

        An initial under supply of Apple Watches also enables Apple to gauge demand and ramp up the preferred models. I would not be surprised to see Apple begin offering an option of the black elastomer band with the Sport rather than just the white. Apple learns.

        Meanwhile, no one is hurt by the delay. The complainers and doomsayers out there did not have an Apple Watch a week ago or a month ago or a year ago, and they can afford to wait a few weeks for gratification. What a bunch of friggin’ whiners!

      5. you have to cut AAPL a break on this one because in the post-Steve era, FSH technology is hitting a PLUM threshold just as JAM overtakes FLAN on an EGG trajectory +-BUN.

        …which is exactly why there is an  Watch in the first place.

        It’s really the classic model of JAM overtaking FLAN, no different, really, than the nascent competition a young Henry Ford faced as the second wave of viable automobile manufacturers entered the market.

      6. But at least Tim is pushing his social agenda on Apple’s dime and Apple’s time. What is more important to Apple Inc., pushing the gay agenda or selling quality products in a timely manner???

    2. Those in the media must get “bonus points” for writing negative articles about Apple. Apple shows that there is tremendous demand for Apple Watch, so the negative point is that supply is insufficient. Apple may not sell 75 million iPhones during the March quarter (like the December quarter), so the negative point is that iPhone sales are lower…

      The REAL point is that Apple will ultimately sell as many Apple Watches as Apple can produce, as fast as they are produced. Production to fulfill “pre-sold” demand is MUCH better than production to fill unsold inventory. It’s not like potential Apple Watch customers, who are Apple’s existing iPhone customers, are going to find and buy a competing product. They will wait for their Apple Watch, and be exceptionally happy when they get it.

  1. I Think it’s reasonable to get a sense of the demand before you build 100,000,000 Apple Watches. I can’t wait to get mine, but I want to try one on before I choose. Sadly, there are currently no Apple Stores near me.

  2. Hmmmm What is sufficient stock? 1 mil, 2 mil, 3 mil, 20 mil, 100 mil. As stock sits, it costs more and more. A short pipeline is better, keeping costs down. More people ordered than what was available.

    I don’t understand the issue with the OLED screen. It seems like any problems there shouldn’t happen.

    1. No… They should have allocated some stock to stores for launch day and some for online orders… As they always do with the phones.

      Having zero inventory at stores for launch day is a screwup not becoming of Apple !

  3. Yes, make everybody wait because you didn’t want to get up at 12:01a. Dude, you’d still be getting your watch in June if Apple decided to wait. The difference is, those who *really* wanted one and were willing to order at 12:01a don’t have to wait.

    I usually wait a month or two after an Apple product ships in order to buy it off the shelf at a local store (usually AT&T for an iPhone). However, my wife was *really* itching for an Apple Watch so I waited up and got my order in at 12:04 (for an Apr 24-May5 shipment). Yes, it’s a bummer some people couldn’t get the watch they wanted on that ship date. OTOH, waiting a week or four more is not the end of the world.

    1. The other option was to form the old iPhone line a week in advance and sit in it, just so you could be told they were sold out when you got into the store, or dealt with scalpers trying to buy up all of the stock to ship to China.

      I have no problem with Apple’s sales policy, and I fail to see why it’s such a media issue except that the media has nothing else to write about.

  4. I don’t think they planned this (I’m sure they’d rather be selling and moving watches as quickly as they can), but I don’t think it’s mis-management either. It’s likely even they were surprised by just how popular the Apple Watch is.

    A little product scarcity never hurt a launch. With fashion / jewellery / status symbols it’s actually a *very good thing*.

  5. “Sufficient” stock is in the eye of the beholder.

    Ramping production, especially for a new product that a few weeks ago people were saying was going to flop, is an art. None of us wants to see Apple sitting on a pile of unsold watches — that would tarnish the brand.

    It would be surprising if Apple had less than several million for the launch. The tight supply strongly suggests that Apple underestimated demand and has yet another ‘must have’ hit on its hands.

    Tim Cooks strength is supply chain management. Apple is ramping up production quickly.

    As an Apple watcher and stockholder, I’m delighted.

    1. Once Apple is ready to go to production it announces the product because you cannot keep it secret from all the factory spies and blog posters in the Far East.

      Even with literally acres of CNC machines working 24/7 there are only so many cases you can produce in 6 months – even with no production delays of supply channel cock ups.

      Some people need to wake up to the realities of manufacturing before spouting crap

    2. Apple also launched in 9 countries initially, with more being added in quickly. Remember, in the first several iPhone releases, the U.S. got them first, then as production ramped up Apple expanded to other countries. Big difference.

  6. Are these the scribblings of a ‘hit whore’ ?
    She needs to engage brain before typing.

    Buying online means no line-ups full of non-Apple fans seeking to make a quick buck.

    Orders met on a first come first supplied basis.

    In what other industry or company does the stupid reporter think that only with a stock of tens of millions of items ( and an inventory cost of billions of dollars ) must be manufactured before first release ?

    1. Why would Apple be bothered by having more people buy their devices even if it is for resale at a higher price? The more Apple has in stock the more funds will be ‘drained’ from potential scalpers and still have stock left to have the ‘regular’ consumers to buy.

        1. Image?

          How would Apple’s image be hurt by selling more the first day and have even less people wait on a pre/back-order to arrive? I wonder if any blogger will start calling any ‘pre’-orders that will be charged and shipped to arrive at least a week later than the 24th will call them ‘back’-orders instead. Next click-bait headline will read “XX pre-orders sold, XX-back-orders still pending”…

  7. Apple builds 1 billion watches, sells 17 total… Tim Cook is a failure, apple is doomed.

    Apple builds and sells all 2.3 million watches in a weekend. Tim Cook is a failure and apple is doomed.

    Only one constant, the media want to tear Apple down. It doesn’t matter what Apple does, they attack.

  8. Aaaauuugggghhhh!!!!

    What incredible, juvenile whiners these supply complainers are. EVERY Apple product is constrained at launch, this is nothing new. Except in this case it is an entirely new product category, with unforeseeable production and marketing challenges.

    Moreover, even if Apple were to sell 10 million of the watches in this quarter, it would barely move the needle for the company’s gross revenues. So, really, why-the-f@#k should we care if the roll-out gets stretched-out?

    1. Maybe a new metric of how few were kept waiting for a pre-ordered product due to lack of supply will make the rounds as a measure of customer satisfaction with a Brand..

  9. Ah what great Friday drivel:

    Carly “nice photo” Page won’t be buying because: “In part, this is because the model I want costs upwards of £600, but it’s largely because of the disastrous launch of the product.” or in other words, she’s cheap and the launch is not to her high level of expectations. Of course nothing about the functioning of the device itself, which most consumers would put high on the list, but hey I could be wrong.

    “From a consumers’ perspective, however, the Apple Watch launch couldn’t have been worse.” Really now Carly, you have a lack of imagination. Imagine lining up for hours at the Apple store to find out that the watch is not available. That would be a disaster, something like that just happened at Apple, but it’s all about the watch here so let’s move on.

    Obviously Carly gets someone else to buy her car. “But it’s not that appealing a prospect to me, nor is having to book an appointment to get up close and personal with the device.”

    “If I was going to buy an Apple Watch, it would be on a whim. That’s just how I roll.” Carly is that how you fuck? Grab a guy from a bar on a whim. Is that how you rock?

    “Not enough stock available? Don’t launch it yet” Not enough brains? Don’t publish out there, unless of course you are a jouranalist.

    What fun.

  10. If you have followed Apple for any period of time with regard to product release, this should not be new to you.

    If you are new, Welcome to Apple!

  11. As most of you know, I’m certainly an Apple fan boy. But, I cannot express how disappointed I was to find my watch ordered 3 minutes after they went on sale ($1099 Space Black SS) was scheduled to ship in June.

    As a significant stock holder, I’m thrilled (and expect at some point the stock will show gains). But, as an enthusiast, I’d have rather seen the pre-order date pushed out so that like any other product, it arrives on launch day.

    1. OK.

      Apple are, in effect, telling you that your personalised pre-order date is June and that all customers like you who pressed the final return button 3 minutes late, it will arrive on time in June.

      Does that make you feel better ?

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