The Apple Watch Launch Date That Wasn’t

by James A. Martin on April 24, 2015

in Apple Watch Experience, Apple Watch Problems

Today is the official Apple Watch launch date. Except that it isn’t.

We were all told that Apple Watch would be available April 24. But you can’t actually waltz into an Apple Store and buy one today. (A few retailers, such as Dover Street Market in London, are selling them, however.)

If you buy an Apple Watch from Apple.com, you’ll have to wait until late May or sometime in June to get one. The 4.24.15 launch date has become such a joke that Apple eventually replaced that date on its website with “coming soon.”

Many people (myself included) who stayed up late or woke early on April 10 to be first in line with their order are still waiting to hear when their watch will ship. Meanwhile, other early-birds have either received their watch already or have an email from Apple informing them their watch is “preparing for shipment.” (I received the dreaded “email of death.”)

Don’t even get me started on the celebs who’ve been flashing their Apple bling for several weeks now, like Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, and Karl Lagerfeld.

Pharrell Williams Apple Watch

From a loyal Apple consumer’s point of view, frankly, I’m getting pissed.

Apple had a long time to figure out the logistics for the Apple Watch launch. The company should have anticipated strong demand and planned for it better. I mean: Why would demand for the Apple Watch be any different from, say, the latest iPad?

Instead, Apple execs are acting all surprised by the demand. This is a convenient, if insincere, pose, as the scarcity fuels even more demand, and they know it. But news flash: Seeing Katy Perry sporting a $17k Apple Watch doesn’t make me want one more. It makes me want to cancel my order. Though, of course, I’m not going to, and Apple knows that. (Talk about an abusive relationship.)

Katy Perry Apple Watch

Put into perspective, these are all first-world gripes. It’s certainly not enough to warrant a therapy session. (I can picture the exchange. Me: “I still don’t know when my Apple Watch will ship, while Katy Perry has a dancing Mickey Mouse on her wrist.” Therapist: “How does that make you feel?”)

I’ll wrap this up with two graphs from The Washington Post’s article, “Has Apple botched the launch of the Watch?,” which I feel summarizes the situation well.

“The question, however, is whether Apple’s efforts to broaden its base will alienate their most faithful customers — those more concerned with gadgetry than pageantry. Those folks, after all, are still the ones most likely to pick up the watch now, no matter what the future may hold.

“The new strategy, said Gartner analyst Van Baker, is a gamble — and one that, in his opinion, hasn’t been successful. ‘I think this is a grand experiment for Apple, and I wouldn’t say it has gone well,’ he said. “Whether this will have a lasting impact on the sales of the product or on Apple’s reputation with its most loyal customers remains to be seen, but I think there is a lot of room for improvement.’

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