Apple will ship its first batch of Apple Watches to customers this Friday.
Leading up to the initial release date, some customers are seeing their order statuses changing from “processing items” to “preparing for shipment.” The company has also started charging customers’ credit and debit cards.
According to MacRumors, Apple has been collecting bulk shipments of the Watch at central distribution centres in the US; orders will ship out from these centres via UPS and FedEx.
Still, it’s unclear how many customers will actually get their orders on Friday. When Apple Watch pre-orders opened up on April 10, customers who placed their orders minutes after the Apple Store reopened said they saw delivery dates ranging from April 24 to mid-May and even June. Due to supply constraints, Apple Watch orders are only being accepted online, not in stores.
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s retail boss, said “customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned.” But while some customers have delivery windows in May and June, an Apple representative tells us those estimates are conservative so as not to upset customers. Those Apple Watches should ship during those dates at the latest — there’s a chance your Apple Watch could ship earlier. Still, Apple would not clarify which factors, if any, that could determine if certain Apple Watch models will ship sooner than expected.
Here’s how to check on the status of your order. Once you place a pre-order for an Apple Watch, you’ll get an email that contains the receipt as well as some questions along the bottom, including one that says “How do I view or change my order.” There, Apple links to your Order Status page, which shows what you’ve pre-ordered, when you pre-ordered it, and when it’s expected to ship. If you see “Preparing for shipment,” there’s a good chance you’ll be getting your Apple Watch in the next week or so.