The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus haven’t gone on sale yet but Apple has already released the first bug fixes for the new smartphones. iOS 9.0.1 with support for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was seeded out to users this afternoon, bringing with it a number of improvements for Safari, Photos, alarms, and more. Apple […]
Apple is planning to make it easier than ever to stay addicted to the iPhone with the introduction of its new iPhone Upgrade Program that will allow fans to upgrade to a new device every single year. Phil Schiller announced the new program on stage at Apple’s keynote today, revealing that pricing for the iPhone […]
Earlier today, a number of Apple Watch pre-orders with delivery estimates of 4-6 weeks or later started changing from „Processing Items“ to „Preparing for Shipment“ on the Apple Online Store. Apple also began charging some credit and debit cards of customers with orders showing extended shipping times.
Apple has since confirmed to John Paczkowski at BuzzFeed that many customers will receive their Apple Watch pre-orders sooner than expected. The company says it is working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible based on the order in which they were received, and does note that some customers are still in for a long wait.
“We’re happy to be updating many customers today with the news that their Apple Watch will arrive sooner than expected,” an Apple spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News. “Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on the available supply and the order in which they were received. We know many customers are still facing long lead times and we appreciate their patience.”
Apple Watch pre-order deliveries will begin on April 24 as scheduled, although exactly how many customers will receive theirs on day one remains to be seen. Ahead of the launch, customers in the United States have started receiving UPS shipment notifications confirming their upcoming Apple Watch delivery. Pre-orders became available on April 10 at 12:01 AM Pacific and sold out in less than six hours, with a combination of strong demand and limited supply quickly pushing back shipping estimates.
MacRumors reported earlier this month that Apple Watch pre-orders could arrive sooner than expected, based on an email exchange with an executive relations spokesperson that said extended shipping times were set deliberately to avoid disappointment.
Starting on April 24, it appears that Apple will be offering „Apple Watch Basics“ workshops in some of its retail stores around the world, helping customers who begin receiving their watches on that day to learn how to use them.
The classes are listed as an available option on April 24 on individual retail store websites and in the „Stores“ section of the Apple Store app. Not all retail locations are displaying Apple Watch workshop availability at this time, but select stores both in the United States and in other countries are offering workshops as of today. Workshops take place at 1.5 hour intervals all day long in most locations and are also available on Saturday and Sunday. It appears that some locations may also be offering extended hours to allow more time for hosting workshops.
Customers who are interested in attending one of these workshops to learn more about the Apple Watch can schedule an appointment beginning today in a store where the appointments are listed. Not all stores are showing the workshops that will be available on April 24, however.
Some stores are showing additional Apple Watch classes beyond the introductory basics class, with a „Stay in Touch with Apple Watch“ class also available in select locations.
Due to constrained supplies, there will be a limited number of customers who will be receiving their Apple Watches on April 24, but users who have pre-ordered and do not yet have their devices can also attend to learn more about the device. Given the few customers who will have watches in-hand on April 24, Apple recently ceased emphasizing the date on its website, replacing all „available 4.24.15“ launch wording with „the Watch is coming.“
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch began on April 10 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time and began selling out within mere minutes. Within six hours, all Apple Watches were sold out and no models offered the initial 4/24 to 5/8 shipping estimate. Apple Watch orders placed today will not ship until June and beyond.
One MacRumors reader, Louis, was able to slip off the bottom band during his Apple Watch try-on appointment to discover that the hidden diagnostic port on early models still remains in the retail versions.
The presence of the diagnostic port was first reported in March by TechCrunch with speculation that it could eventually open up the market for „smart“ band accessories that can interface with the Apple Watch, itself. Apple, however, has made no such promises and doesn’t even acknowledge the presence of the port in any official documentation. Louis also reports the retail staff had no training on the use of the port.
Apple has taken its online store down to prepare for the launch of Apple Watch pre-orders, as it often does ahead of a product launch. Pre-orders for the Apple Watch are expected to begin at 12:01 AM Pacific Time or 3:01 AM Eastern Time in the United States. Orders for the MacBook, which goes on sale on April 10, may also kick off at 12:01 AM PT when the store comes back up.
Pre-orders are occurring in all first wave launch countries at the same time so customers in other countries will be able to order at a local time equivalent to 12:01 AM PT. Here’s a full list of first wave launch countries and their order times (in local time):
– U.S., Canada: 12:01 a.m. PDT, 3:01 a.m. EDT
– U.K.: 8:01 a.m.
– Germany: 9:01 a.m.
– France: 9:01 a.m.
– Australia: 5:01 p.m. AEST, 4:31 PM ACST, 3:01 PM AWST
– Hong Kong: 3:01 p.m.
– China: 3:01 p.m.
– Japan 3:01 p.m.
Apple will accept online orders for the Apple Watch both through its website and through the Apple Store app. Apple’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts made an announcement earlier today to let prospective buyers know that supplies of the Apple Watch are likely not going to meet demand, so users hoping for the earliest delivery dates should plan to order right as pre-orders become available.
Information obtained from the German Apple Store app earlier this week has suggested that some models of the stainless steel Apple Watch may be so limited that they won’t ship by April 24, but it remains unclear if that was an early estimate or a shipping estimate applicable only to Germany.
Still, buyers should be prepared to possibly encounter estimated delivery dates that could be as far off as June for some band choices, including the Modern Buckle, Leather Loop, and Link Bracelet. Edition Watches may ship in May.
Apple Watch pricing begins at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport, $549 for the stainless steel Apple Watch, and $10,000 for the gold Apple Watch Edition. Pricing varies heavily based on band choice, with the cheapest band being the $49 Sport Band and the most expensive band being the $449 Link Bracelet. Early Apple Watch orders will be delivered to customers beginning April 24, which is the official launch date for the device.