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Apple Watch buyers facing a long wait

Apple Watch group shot

Delivery dates drift to June due to high demand for Apple Watch

Buyers of the Apple Watch will now need to wait until at least June before they will get their hands on the device. The Watch, which became available for pre-order on Friday, has already seen its shipping dates slip back by two months in the UK. 

Those who got in early are due to receive their Apple Watch on the official launch date of 24 April. But if you’ve yet to order an Apple Watch, you’re likely to be waiting until at least the summer before the courier comes knocking at your door, irrespective of how much you pay for the smartwatch. 

Whether you’re ordering the cheapest £299 Sport version or the £8,000 Watch Edition, Apple’s UK website is now stipulating a shipping date of June when you reach the checkout stage of the ordering process.

It’s not clear whether Watch buyers will eventually be able to jump the queue by visiting an Apple Store to buy the smartwatch, but it doesn’t seem likely. Apple last week pushed buyers to the company’s website, instead of accepting pre-orders in its stores and rumours suggest there will be a very limited supply of the devices to purchase from the company’s retail outlets. Instead, customers will be allowed to try on the various options in store before being urged to complete their purchase online. 

Apple Watch vs Pebble Time Steel: which is right for you?

As ever, it’s not clear whether there’s a huge wave of demand for the latest Apple product or merely an artificially choked supply to give the impression that the product is more popular than it really is. The truth is probably somewhere in between the two.

US analysts Slice Intelligence estimate that almost a million US customers pre-ordered an Apple Watch when the device went on sale on Friday, with more than six out of ten of those ordering the cheapest Sport model. The analysts also note that 43% of the customers who bought the new MacBook on Friday also orderded an Apple Watch. 

By comparison, there were only 78,471 backers for the Pebble Time smartwatch, which is also due to be sent to customers in the next couple of months. 

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