Are all watches built-to-order?

Mildredop

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Oct 14, 2013
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Many weeks on, and the Apple watch still requires pre-ordering and then a couple of weeks wait. The MacBook is still several weeks.

Considering the Apple watch appears to not have been as popular as most people suspected, there can't be an unexpectedly high amounts of orders to fill, so have Apple just moved to a BTO model rather than risk there being unsold inventory?
 

chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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Considering that you can walk into an Apple store and walk out with a watch, I think the answer to your question has to be "NO!".
 
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Newtons Apple

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Many weeks on, and the Apple watch still requires pre-ordering and then a couple of weeks wait. The MacBook is still several weeks.

Considering the Apple watch appears to not have been as popular as most people suspected, there can't be an unexpectedly high amounts of orders to fill, so have Apple just moved to a BTO model rather than risk there being unsold inventory?
Can't all be as I ordered the 42mm SS with brown leather loop a few weeks ago and it shipped from Cailif and I got it the next day!

Yesterday I ordered the same and it says 2 weeks. They are either out of the SS watch bodies or the loop bands.

I will wait and not worry.
 

Mildredop

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Maybe it has been as popular as people suspected and there are still very high amounts of orders to fill?
I assumed the lack of published sales figures pointed to the fact the numbers weren't terribly good.
 

Mildredop

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Considering that you can walk into an Apple store and walk out with a watch, I think the answer to your question has to be "NO!".
Sorry, didn't realise that. I've only been looking online. I thought you had to book a try-on, have your try-on, and then order the watch online. Didn't know you could buy off-the-shelf.
 

JoeFkling

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Feb 3, 2013
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my experience wasnt exactly off the shelf. They had to make an appt, but one was opened right away as the store was empty. I got about 30 minutes of walkthrough and setup instore as well. Thats what Im guessing the reason behind the appt is.
 

Newtons Apple

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Are you sure? Can you offer a link?
You still waiting? Just go to the online store and pretend that you want to buy the 42mm SS with leather loop for pickup and only two states in the entire country have them. I would say that is a good indication. Apple is not talking but they also have only sport models in most of the stores if any. I did read in Forbes that Apple had MAXed out their suppler production which tells me it is not a flop.

My Apple store has three Sport units and that is it.

Why are you asking? DO you think they are not selling?;)
 

lugworm

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Apr 4, 2011
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You still waiting? Just go to the online store and pretend that you want to buy the 42mm SS with leather loop for pickup and only two states in the entire country have them. I would say that is a good indication. Apple is not talking but they also have only sport models in most of the stores if any. I did read in Forbes that Apple had MAXed out their suppler production which tells me it is not a flop.

My Apple store has three Sport units and that is it.

Why are you asking? DO you think they are not selling?;)
I'm not really into the selling/ not selling debate, but reading this had just made me realise I have yet to see an apple watch "in the wild" in the UK. And I have been looking....

Although, thinking about it, I have yet to see any kind of smartwatch being worn here.
 

Newtons Apple

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I'm not really into the selling/ not selling debate, but reading this had just made me realise I have yet to see an apple watch "in the wild" in the UK. And I have been looking....

Although, thinking about it, I have yet to see any kind of smartwatch being worn here.
Do not feel you are behind times as I have only seen one or two. We got to remember that there are billions of people and few of those have bought the AW:eek:

If the AW is not selling well my store is sure doing a great job of covering it up. Orders still outstrip supply which is good to a point.
 

exxxviii

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May 20, 2015
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Figures have been published and they were quite good.
I do not think that Apple has published figures or goals. But, a number of outside analysts have published their estimates of Apple's sales. The most recent # I have seen is from Slice at 2.8M units worldwide. Since Apple has not revealed its goals, we cannot know whether 2.8M is good or bad, relative to plan.

Regarding the OP's question about build to order, my hunch is no. There are a 38 SKUs, so manufacturing is probably scheduling runs of the SKUs by anticipated volume. Then, Apple has likely allocated volume by country on top of that. So, when you order, if the SKU you want is not in a warehouse somewhere, you wait until it comes up in its scheduled manufacturing run.
 

Phil A.

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Apr 2, 2006
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I haven't seen one beyond the 3 that are in our family "in the flesh" but have spotted a couple on TV - one on Gary Neville (Sky Sports) and one on John Herdman (the Canada Women's football coach)
 

Mildredop

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Apple is not talking
So Apple haven't published any sales figures - I didn't think so. With each iPhone they're quick to tell the world how well it's selling, so their silence over the watch suggests to me that the figures aren't anything spectacular and worse than Apple expected.
 

Stetrain

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Feb 6, 2009
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So Apple haven't published any sales figures - I didn't think so. With each iPhone they're quick to tell the world how well it's selling, so their silence over the watch suggests to me that the figures aren't anything spectacular and worse than Apple expected.

They said specifically before the watch was launched that they wouldn't be breaking out sales numbers, so it's pretty much at their descretion.

At this point the main data point we have is that they were extremely supply constrained from April through early June (even still on some models). People who ordered them waited weeks and weeks for delivery because Apple couldn't make enough to meet demand.

So basically the reason that shipping times have been slow and they haven't been available in store is because Apple couldn't produce enough of them.

If sales were poor and Apple wanted to sell a lot of them I think they would be making them more available and easier to walk in and buy on impulse, not the opposite.
 
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IllusionEntity

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Jun 23, 2013
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I'm not really into the selling/ not selling debate, but reading this had just made me realise I have yet to see an apple watch "in the wild" in the UK. And I have been looking....

Although, thinking about it, I have yet to see any kind of smartwatch being worn here.
I'm in the UK and I have seen a lot.

One on a cashier at forever 21 in bluewater, one at cineworld (the guy was using passbook on the watch for his QR code) I've seen numerous on wrists in bluewater and lakeside shopping centres. I also have a few colleagues who have them.
 

Newtons Apple

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So Apple haven't published any sales figures - I didn't think so. With each iPhone they're quick to tell the world how well it's selling, so their silence over the watch suggests to me that the figures aren't anything spectacular and worse than Apple expected.
Well I guess you are right and the watch is selling poorly and they are hiding it from us. Gee I should have listened to you to begin with!
 

firstapple

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Sep 25, 2007
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So Apple haven't published any sales figures - I didn't think so. With each iPhone they're quick to tell the world how well it's selling, so their silence over the watch suggests to me that the figures aren't anything spectacular and worse than Apple expected.
They don't NEED to come out and brag about how well things are selling all the time. They also are busy with getting other things up and going like the release of Apple Music today and Beats 1, etc. They have a financial call in a few weeks, maybe they will mention there how sales are going. But again, who cares? If you want one, get one. If you're waiting for it to be some huge seller and that makes you then want it, you're doing something wrong, no?

More than likely sales may not be where they want them because they can't make them fast enough, who knows. They'll tell us when the time is right.
 

bangers

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Apr 24, 2015
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I took a trip to Key West two weeks ago. I saw one on the TSA person letting me out of Phoenix, three on bartenders in Key West, one on the TSA person letting me out of Key West and one on the TSA person letting me out of Tampa.
 

Mildredop

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Well I guess you are right and the watch is selling poorly and they are hiding it from us. Gee I should have listened to you to begin with!
No need to get sarcastic.

You should, of course, come to your own conclusions - I haven't insisted you listen to me. But it was you, don't forget, who declared Apple had released sales figures when they hadn't.
 

al0kz

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2013
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There wasn't any stock for reservations near me, so I went and ordered it on the 28th (Sunday) online. After being told its going to take 1-2 weeks, it shipped the very next day from China (what I'm assuming to be straight from the factory). Maybe being built-to-order isn't totally out of the question.
 

Newtons Apple

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They don't NEED to come out and brag about how well things are selling all the time. They also are busy with getting other things up and going like the release of Apple Music today and Beats 1, etc. They have a financial call in a few weeks, maybe they will mention there how sales are going. But again, who cares? If you want one, get one. If you're waiting for it to be some huge seller and that makes you then want it, you're doing something wrong, no?

More than likely sales may not be where they want them because they can't make them fast enough, who knows. They'll tell us when the time is right.
Agreed. Apple biggest problem was lack of stock at introduction. Apple is still behind with many waiting and stores lacking stock.
 

makotoisle

macrumors 6502
May 31, 2012
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Do not feel you are behind times as I have only seen one or two. We got to remember that there are billions of people and few of those have bought the AW:eek:

If the AW is not selling well my store is sure doing a great job of covering it up. Orders still outstrip supply which is good to a point.
There's a lot in Exeter. I see it a lot on students, but yesterday I even saw one on the middle aged woman behind me at Costa.