Apple Watch Pre-orders Begin as Customers Crowd Stores to Try Wearable

Apple WatchApple has begun pre-orders for its Apple Watch wearable, with customers crowding into the companys stores and flooding its website with orders which have pushed actual release dates back up to six weeks as the firm struggles to cope with demand.

At the Apple Watch launch event last month, consumers were told they would be able to get their hands on an Apple Watch on 24 April, but Apple has revised most shipping dates back to June on its website, with one variant pushed back as far as August at one point.

According to at least one report by Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray, every model of the Apple Watch sold out within the first 10 to 30 minutes of being available, largely thanks to Apples built-in fan base and the publicity surround the launch of its first wearable, with first day pre-orders estimated as near 1m sales.

However, queues at physical stores were nowhere close to those often seen with the release of a new iPhone or iPad model, suggesting that despite the prospect of getting their hands on what is likely the years most buzzed-about tech release, most consumers are not willing to splash out on the wearable just yet.

“Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch,” said Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail and online stores for Apple in a statement made ahead of the launch.