Home The Apple Watch: Here This Morning, Today Sold Out Through June

The Apple Watch: Here This Morning, Today Sold Out Through June

The long-awaited Apple Watch finally became available for pre-order on Thursday—and within about six hours, according to 9to5Mac, all models of the wearable were sold out through June.

The Apple Watch is sold out through June.

As great as that sounds for Apple’s business, it’s not much of a surprise. The Apple Watch is the company’s first new product release since the iPad in 2010, so anticipation among the devoted is understandably high. 

See also: Apple Watch Reviews—The TL;DR Version

But there’s another reason it’s not surprising: it’s entirely possible that there were never going to be enough Apple Watches to meet day-one demand.

Big Piece, Small Pie

Let’s turn back the clock to September 5, 2014. That’s when Motorola sent out emails to announce that the Moto 360, the company’s first smartwatch and easily the most anticipated Android Wear device, would be available for purchase in just a few hours’ time. Later that day, it was completely sold out—gone from Motorola’s website, the Google Play Store, and Best Buy’s retail locations.

The Moto 360 sold out within hours of its launch. But there weren’t even a million units made.

It sure looked like a massive hit for Motorola. Then a few months later, Canalys reported that only 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in the entire year. Motorola’s smartwatch was the “clear leader among Android Wear vendors,” but even a big piece of such a small pie doesn’t really mean much.

The odds are excellent that Apple has sold way more than 720,000 Apple Watches. But chances are equally good that Apple didn’t set its April launch date with the firm expectation of filling all orders for the smartwatch. (Apple supposedly ordered 5 million units from its suppliers to cover April-June sales, although that still doesn’t tell us how many were available today.)

See also: The Apple Watch Looks Great, But It’s Going To Disappoint A Lot Of Users

For starters, a device as small and complicated as the Apple Watch—with its sapphire crystal display and other premium materials—isn’t necessarily as easy to manufacture as some of Apple’s bigger devices. Throughout 2014, there were repeated reports of Apple production snags that pushed the device’s release to its current April 24 date. The Apple Watch is a tiny, extremely high-performance device, and it seems easy to screw up on a production line.

A 9to5Mac reader apparently got a reply from Tim Cook on this very very issue:

A number of units will be delivered on the 24th but it is unlikely every unit ordered tomorrow will be delivered on the 24th. This depends on how many units are ordered for a specific SKU compared to the supply we have of that specific SKU. This isn’t different from other new products. Sometimes demand exceed supply for a period of time. I can assure you we are working around the clock to get as many units to customers as fast as possible.

There will be an order limit of 2.

But let’s also remember that scarcity—intended or otherwise—has worked pretty well for Apple. As we’ve discussed before, there are few better ways to boost a product’s attractiveness than by making it hard to get. Exclusivity and specialness is part of Apple’s brand appeal, so if the highest-profile Apple release in years is extra rare, Tim Cook probably won’t be crying in his soup. 

Apple Watch images courtesy of Apple; Moto 360 image courtesy of Motorola

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