It wasn’t that long ago when buying a new Apple product meant standing in line with a rest of the crazy ones all night, or at least early in the morning. The company eventually introduced preordering, which kept the lines intact, but moved them online. Either way, there was always an unofficial understanding between Cupertino and their customers: Be there early and the odds were pretty good that you would receive your fancy new iPhone or iPad on launch day.
On April 10, I placed my Apple Watch order online, like millions of others did around the world. My order for a 42mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band Apple Watch was accepted at 3:05 a.m. local time, just four minutes after preorders had begun.
My Watch never shipped, apparently because of that black band. To prove this, those who ordered the same Watch with a White Sports Band are receiving their orders. (Proving that misery does indeed love company, an entire MacRumors forum topic is now dedicated to those of us in the same boat.)
Most of the early Apple Watch orders placed on April 10 had a delivery date of “4/24 to 5/8.” If my memory is correct, this is the first time that Apple had included a range of delivery dates on launch orders. This was a wise move on Apple’s part, until it was not.
At the beginning of this week, many saw the delivery date on their orders shift to April 24. This usually occurred a few hours after a customer’s credit card was charged and the order shifted from “processing” to “preparing for shipment.”
Others, such as myself, continued to see the range of possible delivery dates on their orders. As of this morning, for example, my order still has April 24 as a possible delivery date. The last I checked, Apple cannot yet fulfill orders by drones. There is no way that I’ll be receiving my wearable device today, despite what my order says.
Adding insult to injury are two moves Apple made in recent days.
On Wednesday, some early Watch buyers received what is now known as the “email of death” from the Apple Store. In hindsight, the email was probably an attempt by Apple to let us down easy. Unfortunately, the 90-word monstrosity did no such thing. Instead, it added to the confusion.
Finally, there is the issue of late orders turning into launch day deliveries. Some users decided to sleep in on April 10, and were penalized for this. Within a few hours, new Apple Watch orders placed on that day began receiving “June” delivery dates. By the beginning of this week, miraculously, many of these orders had shifted. Many of these folks are receiving their Apple Watches today. The rest of us are left wondering what happened.
Now, I know what many of you are probably thinking. This is a first-world problem and Bryan is just bitter because he couldn’t get his new toy first. Many Apple customers were affected by this nonetheless. In the future, Apple needs to better manage expectations, like they once did. They can do so by once again putting real delivery dates on order receipts, and stop sending out annoying emails that make zero sense. They also need to recognize the power of social networking. You can’t shift the delivery dates from “June” to April 24 on some orders, while leaving others twisting in the wind.
I’ll receive my Apple Watch, not today, but before May 8. In the meantime, life goes on. I hold no grudges against those folks who are receiving their wearable devices today. Good for you, enjoy. Nonetheless, the bitter taste in my mouth is real, as it is for other Apple fans. Cupertino needs to know this.