All models of the Apple Watch sold out just hours after preorders officially started.
But, a new note from Apple analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray suggests it only took minutes for certain versions to sell out.
It appears that based on our observations and media reports, launch day supply (April 24th) was largely sold out within the first 10 to 30 minutes depending on model. Most lead times now suggest a 4-6 week or June/July ship date. Overall we view this as an indication of solid demand paired with very limited supply, with supply being the most significant limiting factor. We continue to expect modest sales in the June quarter (2.3m units) as demand ramps over time, with Dec-16 a breakout period. We maintain our Overweight rating and $US160 price target.
Strong initial demand for the Apple Watch isn’t terribly surprising. Apple’s built-in fan base, combined with its earned reputation for excellence all but guarantees an initial surge of sales.
Indeed, days before pre-orders started, Apple’s SVP of retail, Angela Ahrendts, warned: “Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.”
Munster believes demand for the Apple Watch will likely increase now that in-store demos have started at Apple’s retail locations. People now have the chance to play with the watch and decide if they want to buy it, as opposed to the past few months when potential customers were basing their impressions of the watch mostly on what they have seen on Apple’s website and in the media.
Despite the initial flurry of activity, it’s still tough to get a read on how many Apple has really sold.
It seems that Apple is having trouble making the watch. After all, when it announced the watch last September, it said it would release it in “Early 2015.” Initial reports suggested Apple was aiming for February. But, Apple officially announced a launch date of April 24.
Based on Munster’s report, only a limited number of people are going to get the watch at the end of April. It seems most people will get the watch in mid-May, or June, which is a full nine months after Apple announced the watch.