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hufflematt

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2015
1,725
1,782
UK
At what point do we admit that Apple's launch of the Watch has been slightly less than perfect?

Can you think of another product or company that announces a new product in September, with the promise of a launch early the following year, but with no launch date, finally announces the launch date in March, the launch itself being six weeks after that announcement and then, when pre-orders finally open, cannot give even the very first people to order a narrower delivery window than two weeks?

Further, they allow people to see the new product in their shops, but don't let them buy the product in their shops. They give hit and miss staff hit and miss training on how to demonstrate the product. They have varying supply levels of demonstration product in their shops. Customers ability to really try out the product is severely limited.

And then – despite all this – people start threads on the internet praising the effectiveness of the head of retail operations, who has been paid unimaginably large sums of money to be in charge of all this?

Yes, we all love Apple products. I've been resolutely brand-loyal to Apple since 1988. Yes, I'm more excited than a child at Christmas about actually getting my Apple Watch.

But as a textbook exercise in how to manage a product release, this is really seeming quite comprehensively rubbish.

We live in a world where you can order a product on Amazon at four in the afternoon and they will guarantee to deliver it to you the following day. I have a confirmation e-mail timed at 08:01 BST – the first minute of the launch – and they can't give me a window narrower than two weeks, which starts in two weeks time.

The only defence any of you could come up with would be some nonsense about them either not wanting to make too many in case they didn't sell, or them having production difficulties. To the former I say, don't be ridiculous. It was obviously they'd sell vast amounts. You want a spare Milanese loop? They're shipping "in June". What? Really? Are you kidding me?

Production difficulties? Don't announce dates if you can't get your act together.

I'm sure the watch is great. The rest of it is really pretty poor. You'd have to be a more dedicated fanboy than I am to not agree.
 

JonnyIreland

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
873
228
Toronto, Canada
OP, prepare to be flamed hard for daring to speak your mind and for suggesting that this product launch has been less than perfect. There are people here who can't see the wood for the trees and can't admit that Apple makes mistakes. Yes, it is a huge product launch, but this ain't their first rodeo.

One day in the future when Tim Cook or an Apple insider releases a book, we'll find out what really happened.
 

oftheheavens

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
1,988
498
cherry point
At what point do we admit that Apple's launch of the Watch has been slightly less than perfect?

Can you think of another product or company that announces a new product in September, with the promise of a launch early the following year, but with no launch date, finally announces the launch date in March, the launch itself being six weeks after that announcement and then, when pre-orders finally open, cannot give even the very first people to order a narrower delivery window than two weeks?

Further, they allow people to see the new product in their shops, but don't let them buy the product in their shops. They give hit and miss staff hit and miss training on how to demonstrate the product. They have varying supply levels of demonstration product in their shops. Customers ability to really try out the product is severely limited.

And then – despite all this – people start threads on the internet praising the effectiveness of the head of retail operations, who has been paid unimaginably large sums of money to be in charge of all this?

Yes, we all love Apple products. I've been resolutely brand-loyal to Apple since 1988. Yes, I'm more excited than a child at Christmas about actually getting my Apple Watch.

But as a textbook exercise in how to manage a product release, this is really seeming quite comprehensively rubbish.

We live in a world where you can order a product on Amazon at four in the afternoon and they will guarantee to deliver it to you the following day. I have a confirmation e-mail timed at 08:01 BST – the first minute of the launch – and they can't give me a window narrower than two weeks, which starts in two weeks time.

The only defence any of you could come up with would be some nonsense about them either not wanting to make too many in case they didn't sell, or them having production difficulties. To the former I say, don't be ridiculous. It was obviously they'd sell vast amounts. You want a spare Milanese loop? They're shipping "in June". What? Really? Are you kidding me?

Production difficulties? Don't announce dates if you can't get your act together.

I'm sure the watch is great. The rest of it is really pretty poor. You'd have to be a more dedicated fanboy than I am to not agree.

I have a business degree and I have to say that from a business standpoint apple launched this with a touch of genius. They have built hype on a product that no one needs and have convinced many over the last few months to buy a product that they weren't going to buy in september. As far as supply, to an extent this lack of supply is marketing to continue the hype. I will fully agree with you on the bands though, a June shipping date on a band is a little silly but I will chalk this up to them not thinking so many men (or total demand) on the Milanese loop. Though, if you made all bands available most people wouldn't have bought setups like the black SS with black links, in turn customers would have bought the black sport and added the link bracelet and then the SS wouldn't have sold that well. May not be the exact marketing strategy but I doubt I am far off.

As far as preorder launch, I had a flawless experience using the apple app which was suggest by apple to use. Could you imagine the traffic jam if they allowed all the picky people to try on/switch bands/order in store? People would be there for hours looking at different combos, then hours more second guessing themselves at the computer used to order. I preordered on the app within 1 minute and was back asleep with a 24th shipping date.

Just saying that Apple is rather smart with marketing and this is going rather smoothly for APPLE
 

hufflematt

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2015
1,725
1,782
UK
OP, prepare to be flamed hard for daring to speak your mind and for suggesting that this product launch has been less than perfect. There are people here who can't see the wood for the trees and can't admit that Apple makes mistakes. Yes, it is a huge product launch, but this ain't their first rodeo.

One day in the future when Tim Cook or an Apple insider releases a book, we'll find out what really happened.

There are people who seem to treat Apple as some sort of cult.

Like I said, I remain brand loyal to them and have spent tens of thousands of pounds on their products over the years. But they have made and continue to make pretty bad mistakes.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
24,371
31,605
Do we need another new thread every time a thought pops in to someone's head? OP couldn't you have used the existing thread on Angela Ahrendts (which I believe you started?) for this rant?
 

vikingjunior

Cancelled
Aug 17, 2011
1,319
590
I don't think apple purposely tries to screw is customers. I also don't think you can rush a polished product. I'm sure you can order a moto 360 or any other smart watch and get it by tomorrow but then again if will be a inferior watch.
 

Ryanhdd

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2007
243
33
Virginia Beach, Virginia
I have to say I agree with the OP, Apple for whatever reason was not ready for this launch. If they are having issues, they should have waited till they could actually deliver the product. I am not saying all of the product at least those who ordered very early, I mean its not a perfect world. However they should have been ready. They teased the product endlessly and now many people are waiting a longtime for something they purchased.
 

hufflematt

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2015
1,725
1,782
UK
Just saying that Apple is rather smart with marketing and this is going rather smoothly for APPLE

I disagree. Meeting or exceeding customer expectations is Business 101. Making vague promises doesn't build and maintain customer loyalty. It just gets people's backs up.

Apple has been lucky that it hasn't really had much competition –*in terms of style and quality. But other companies are slowly catching up.

Apple wil not always be number one. Companies rise and fall. They don't stay that the top by breaking promises or building a pattern of incompetence. I still remember Apple Maps.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,608
Apple haven't messed up at all. This is called marketing! Plain and simple!
 

My Name is URL

Suspended
Nov 18, 2013
480
121
UK
I agree with you on the part where a person goes to try the watch on, asks when they can buy one and then being told they can't get one in store they'll have to order online with no chance of getting it before June. That really is crazy.
 

MacMan07

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2011
37
0
UK
I am in total agreement with the OP.

I know that roll-outs of new products are always a challenge but all signs point to the fact that Apple have been struggling to meet their timelines.

I think there is a really strong possibility that no member of the general public will actually have a watch in hand on 24 Apr.
 

hufflematt

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2015
1,725
1,782
UK
Do we need another new thread every time a thought pops in to someone's head? OP couldn't you have used the existing thread on Angela Ahrendts (which I believe you started?) for this rant?

We don't need threads about anything. There's nothing new to say. We're all sitting around waiting for Apple to actually get its act together and start shipping product.

There are endless multiple threads on the same topic. I'm sorry your busy and important day has been ruined by my deciding to write down my thoughts.

My earlier thread has disappeared from my feed. I can't be bothered to look for it. Many people don't read every single thread. To them, these thoughts will be new. Ish.
 

boshii

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2008
3,699
784
Atlanta, GA
Apple haven't messed up at all. This is called marketing! Plain and simple!

It's not marketing. For a company that values surprising and delighting customers as much as Apple, this is not good business.

----------

We don't need threads about anything. There's nothing new to say. We're all sitting around waiting for Apple to actually get its act together and start shipping product.

There are endless multiple threads on the same topic. I'm sorry your busy and important day has been ruined by my deciding to write down my thoughts.

My earlier thread has disappeared from my feed. I can't be bothered to look for it. Many people don't read every single thread. To them, these thoughts will be new. Ish.

Some people take threads like these as a personal attack.
 

sulpfiction

macrumors 68040
Aug 16, 2011
3,075
603
Philadelphia Area
. I preordered on the app within 1 minute and was back asleep with a 24th shipping date.

Just saying that Apple is rather smart with marketing and this is going rather smoothly for APPLE

First, you don't have a 24th ship date. You have a 2 week window starting on the 24th and extending through the 8th of May.

Second, this isn't pure marketing genius IMO. This launch and preorder weekend were very un-apple like. Kinda messy if u ask me. I too have a watch with a date of 4/24-5/8, and I can't wait to get it. Im sure it's gonna be awesome. But I can't deny the fact that I'm a little disappointed with the way this whole watch thing has gone since last September. Feels very unorganized and rushed. And I'm not sure Angela has any clue about the apple way.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,173
8,065
I have to say I agree with the OP, Apple for whatever reason was not ready for this launch. If they are having issues, they should have waited till they could actually deliver the product. I am not saying all of the product at least those who ordered very early, I mean its not a perfect world. However they should have been ready. They teased the product endlessly and now many people are waiting a longtime for something they purchased.

I've long thought that Apple needs a full time COO. When Cook was in that role he managed the supply time as well as anyone could given Steve Jobs' propensity to make last minute changes. But he can't do that and be the CEO at the same time.

That said, some people view the past with rose colored glasses. The original iPhone sold 275,000 its first weekend and there were long lines. The lines for the iPad 2 stretched for blocks at the launch date. It took 3 months for supply of the iPhone 4s to match demand and Apple resorted to an in store reservation system.

It's obvious they had supply chain issues with this, and likely development difficulties since they made the decision to make it smaller than any other similar device out there. I doubt they were able to move the S1 chip to Samsung's 14nm process (which should help battery life in future generations) so they had to use other means to get the battery to last 18 hours. This is a gen 1 product and they experienced gen 1 issues at multiple stages. That said, I'd rather get it late than for Apple to release a half baked product. I'm sure it isn't perfect, but even from the most negative reviews out there this doesn't seem like a half baked product.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,709
69
USA
At what point do we admit that Apple's launch of the Watch has been slightly less than perfect?

...
Apple is now the largest corporation--at least in terms of market capitalization. If Apple did what every other company else does, then Apple would stand where every other company stands.
 

DreamPod

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2008
1,265
188
Can you think of another product or company that announces a new product in September, with the promise of a launch early the following year, but with no launch date, finally announces the launch date in March, the launch itself being six weeks after that announcement
This is extremely common, what have you never bought any heavily hyped mass market device at launch? Here's an example: video game consoles. A console is announced June of one year with a launch date of the next year. Then in June the next year more details are given, like games available at launch and a release date of "Fourth quarter". Then in September of that year the price is finally revealed, as well as the actual release date in November.

and then, when pre-orders finally open, cannot give even the very first people to order a narrower delivery window than two weeks?
For online orders, not every product offers overnight shipping, nor even shipping to arrive on launch day at all, for anyone. And even Amazon's vaunted overnight shipping isn't always on time, and has been delayed by a week or more. Apple never has promised to ship on a single day with online orders, they always give a window, because they have to work with non-Apple shipping companies and customers that might live in a cave 300 miles from civilization.
 

hufflematt

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2015
1,725
1,782
UK
I've long thought that Apple needs a full time COO. When Cook was in that role he managed the supply time as well as anyone could given Steve Jobs' propensity to make last minute changes. But he can't do that and be the CEO at the same time.

That said, some people view the past with rose colored glasses. The original iPhone sold 275,000 its first weekend and there were long lines. The lines for the iPad 2 stretched for blocks at the launch date. It took 3 months for supply of the iPhone 4s to match demand and Apple resorted to an in store reservation system.

It's obvious they had supply chain issues with this, and likely development difficulties since they made the decision to make it smaller than any other similar device out there. I doubt they were able to move the S1 chip to Samsung's 14nm process (which should help battery life in future generations) so they had to use other means to get the battery to last 18 hours. This is a gen 1 product and they experienced gen 1 issues at multiple stages. That said, I'd rather get it late than for Apple to release a half baked product. I'm sure it isn't perfect, but even from the most negative reviews out there this doesn't seem like a half baked product.

Thank you for your well-reasoned thoughts.

I agree. I'd be happy to wait until June for a product that Apple's really happy with. As long as they could tell me exactly when in June I'd get my watch.

Don't announce dates you can't keep. It's guaranteed to wind people up.

Given Apple's incredible wealth, they could easily have afforded to wait until the product was right and they had plenty of stock in inventory. There was surely never any doubt that they'd be able to shift as much as they made. Within reason.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,512
53,368
Behind the Lens, UK
We've all survived for decades without a smart watch. The fact you now have to wait a few more weeks for one will hardly change your life. I guess you could always put your hand in your pocket and pull the phone out?

On Apples part I would say this is partly marketing, partly not really knowing which versions would be popular. When you have no sales history of a new product, it's a nightmare trying to second guess the customer.

Also if the Edition version proves popular, I wonder if we will see a premium version of other products in the future?
 
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