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So, Apple Watch Launch strategy...

dbm


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... Marketing genius or supply chain disaster?

Personally I'm gutted that, after all the excitement, it will be another two months before the watch I want is available. Yes, these are first world problems, but I expect better from Apple, who must surely be the world wide experts on global launches?
 

vansmith

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It could just be higher than expected demand. No company is immune to unexpected customer response and I suspect that Apple, however much they might be prepped for large releases, didn't estimate this kind of response. There's also a theory that the nightmare that is accounting for the numerous types might be slowing things down.
 

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... Marketing genius or supply chain disaster?

Personally I'm gutted that, after all the excitement, it will be another two months before the watch I want is available. Yes, these are first world problems, but I expect better from Apple, who must surely be the world wide experts on global launches?

Just because you personally won't get your watch when you want it does not necessarily mean a disaster. A disaster would be if the iWatch feel flat on its face…and iWatch sales would bomb.

My guess is this won't happen. Sales will be BIG…and eventually you will have one too. If you don't have your iWatch now…it's simply something you can still look forward to getting in the near future!:)

- Nick
 
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MacInWin

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From what I read, the original shipping dates were by May 7, but within hours it started to slip out. Typical of a new release from Apple, when the early orders get fulfilled and later orders wait. It's about what happens every time. It is almost impossible to estimate day one orders for anything. What was surprising to me is that the gold edition slipped out to 3-4 months pretty quickly, too. Who would have thought demand for that would have been that high?
 
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dbm


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Literally as soon as the Apple website went live in the UK I attempted to purchase a black SS watch, and the delivery date was June. A look through the other watches showed that only the colourful Sport watches (not the black one), and the classic buckle SS watch were available for launch day. Every other watch combination was 4-6 weeks or longer. The yellow gold watches were August.

That is not over demand, that is lack of supply.

ETA: to clarify, I don't feel entitled to buy a Watch, but why whip up demand when you know you can't supply it? This is like buying a car, and they are built to order.
 
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pigoo3

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That is not over demand, that is lack of supply.

It's most likely both.

This is not the first Apple product to experience this sort of thing. Same thing happened when the iPads were first introduced. And it happens regularly with newly released iPhone models.

- Nick
 
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dbm


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My point is that there seems to have been no more than tens of that particular model available for the UK at launch, perhaps zero. Any demand outstrips supply at that point.
 

pigoo3

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My point is that there seems to have been no more than tens of that particular model available for the UK at launch, perhaps zero. Any demand outstrips supply at that point.

If you can confirm this…then I agree with you 100%…lack of supply.:)

But don't you think that 100's, 1000's (or maybe even 10's of 1000's) of folks in the UK were doing the EXACT same thing as you. Trying to get an Apple iWatch at the EXACT time the site went live. If 10,000, 20,000, or more folks all sign into the Apple website to purchase an Apple iWatch at the exact same time…some folks will get one & some won't.

BELIEVE ME…it wasn't just you and 10 other blokes signing into the website when it first went live to get an Apple iWatch!;)

If you want one so badly…head to eBay. I bet that Apple iWatches (once they get into peoples hands)...will start showing up on eBay. And folks bidding on them will be more than happy to pay 2x, 3x, or more than the original list price for them. Just the way it goes.

- Nick
 
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dbm


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I doubt 1000 people were attempting to purchase a black SS watch at 8:05 this morning when the web site had only been up 30 seconds. I had the watch as a 'favourite' and went straight to it. The silver link watch was still showing 4-6 weeks at that point.
 

pigoo3

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I doubt 1000 people were attempting to purchase a black SS watch at 8:05 this morning when the web site had only been up 30 seconds.

The bottom line is:

- You don't know how many folks were signed in at the same time as you.
- You don't know that Apple only had 10's of the iWatch model you wanted in stock.

Without any data to backup any of this conjecture…it's like piling dog poop on top of dog poop. The pile of dog poop just gets bigger & bigger!;)

The two things that are known are:

- You were not able to order an iWatch.
- You will have to wait until stock is replenished.

* Nick

p.s. Believe me. I do realize that you are disappointed that you were not able to order an iWatch. This sort of thing happens with a newly released product…especially if it's a long anticipated & popular product.
 
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Is it really that important this month or next month? Be aware US orders take priority.
 
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dbm


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My point is this: it was easy to buy an iPhone 5, 5S and 6 on launch day. It was easy to buy an iPad Air on launch day.

If you want to tell me that Apple has sold more Apple Watches than iPhone 6 handsets on launch day then please produce the figures for that, as you put so much store in them?

Or accept that the supply of Apple Watches is radically less than the demand. Which is either a marketing move, or an indication of significant challenges in producing Apple Watches.
 

pigoo3

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My point is this: it was easy to buy an iPhone 5, 5S and 6 on launch day. It was easy to buy an iPad Air on launch day.

The problem is this is not true. As I stated earlier…not everyone that wants certain iPhone models can always get them on day one…and when the first iPad was released not everyone got one.

Short-supply is not always a problem with new Apple hardware releases (it's not nonexistent either). It does seem to happen more often with a brand NEW product (especially generation 1 new products)...like the iWatch.

This kind of thing happens.

- Nick
 

chscag

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LOL, T-Mobile still has at least a 4 week wait on orders of a new iPhone 6+. Sure, you can buy one for full price direct from Apple, but it's easier on the wallet paying by the month to T-Mobile. ;)
 
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chas_m

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I do think Apple was surprised by stronger-than-expected demand. I think they knew they would do okay, but this is a brand new product ... as in COMPLETELY new product ... and thus no real way to foretell demand. They made their best guess ... and apparently came up short compared to what actually happened. Lots of companies would LOVE to have this problem.

My guess is that, despite a recent confirmation that its online orders only for now ... in maybe three weeks you WILL be able to walk into an Apple Store and come out with a Watch, but it will be the low-end ones and some of the middle-end ones that will be less constrained.
 

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LOL, T-Mobile still has at least a 4 week wait on orders of a new iPhone 6+. Sure, you can buy one for full price direct from Apple, but it's easier on the wallet paying by the month to T-Mobile. ;)

A couple of the iPhone 6+ models had a 2 month wait direct from Apple after the initial 3 day weekend when 10 million iPhones were sold.

Apple should have known they needed to make 20 million of them before they allowed anyone to purchase one.

Or just let all of them sit in the warehouse until every single order could be fulfilled.
Everyone that has bought an iPhone 6 might still be waiting for that first one to be shipped.
 
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dbm


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For the number inclined:

Global launch of iPhone 6 was 4m units on day 1 (Macworld)

Worldwide sales of smart watches for the entirety of 2014 was 6.8m (Apple Insider)

So either Apple just sold 2/3 of the entire 2014 volume in 1 day or they had significantly less product available. You decide.
 

pigoo3

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The bottom line is. The Apple iWatch is NOT the first product Apple has launched that had less supply than demand (regardless of what the exact numbers are).

And just because someone logs onto the Apple website as early as humanly possible…still does not guarantee that an iWatch will be had. Too many other folks are thinking the EXACT SAME THING.

- Nick
 
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dbm


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That wasn't actually the point of the thread...

The point was... is this an indication of supply limits? Is it a marketing ploy? Was it a failure to predict demand?

The most interesting aspect was watch availability going back from June to July, suggesting that in just a few hours they sold more than they could make in a month. When the iPhone 6 sold 4m on day 1 they had another 6m in reserve for days 2 and 3 (10m were sold in the first 3 days). There is clearly no reserve capacity when it comes to the watch.
 
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MacInWin

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That wasn't actually the point of the thread...

The point was... is this an indication of supply limits? Is it a marketing ploy? Was it a failure to predict demand?

The most interesting aspect was watch availability going back from June to July, suggesting that in just a few hours they sold more than they could make in a month. When the iPhone 6 sold 4m on day 1 they had another 6m in reserve for days 2 and 3 (10m were sold in the first 3 days). There is clearly no reserve capacity when it comes to the watch.
Not a valid assumption. You have ONE data point, sales on opening day. The fact that they sold more in one day than nearly 2/3rds of the entire industry in the previous year points to demand that nobody could have predicted. With iPhones, Apple had history so they could predict better. You cannot make the assumption that there is no reserve capacity to manufacture the watch. Reserve stock, yes, but not capacity to manufacture. I doubt anyone in Apple considered on day one opening up reserve manufacturing capacity based on one day sales. If sales continue at that pace and if delivery times keep moving out, then they will respond with reserve manufacturing capacity.

In fact, in the past Apple has been able to deliver earlier than the predicted date, so that may happen with the watch as well.

I cannot think of a way that this out of stock situation is a marketing ploy. I'm sure if Apple had them, they'd love to sell them.
 

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