Apple Watch pre-order stampede may herald device shortage

A high volume of orders for its smart watch suggests Apple may struggle to fulfil demand

Close to a million customers placed orders for Apple Watches on Friday (10 April 2015) alone, according to US data from analyst firm Slice Intelligence, suggesting that Apple may have to quickly ramp up production to meet demand.

The data, gathered from electronic receipts collected from a panel of two million consumers, showed that Apple Watch buyers spent just over $503 (£343) on the devices, with more than 60% splashing out on the cheaper Sport model.

Analysts said stocks of the Apple Watch – which was made available to pre-order on Friday, with the first deliveries expected later in April 2015 – had already very likely sold out, possibly within minutes, according to Reuters.

A number of devices have already surfaced on eBay. At the time of writing, bids on one of the yet-to-be-delivered Sport watches had surged to more than £1,100, well over double the retail price.

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For the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has made it impossible to purchase the devices in-store, saying that it wants to put an end to the phenomenon of lengthy queues outside its retail premises, hence the surge of online interest.

Although the Apple Watch is pitched firmly at iPhone-owning consumers, a number of enterprise software suppliers – notably – have already jumped on the bandwagon and unveiled their own apps for the device, suggesting it could yet find a ready home in enterprise IT environments.

Apple is not the only device manufacturer understood to be having concerns about the state of its supply chain. Reports recently emerged that Apple’s rival Samsung was also facing shortages of its newly launched Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone models because its novel curved screen is difficult to manufacture.

Samsung is counting on the Galaxy S6 to revive its fortunes having lost ground to Apple in recent months.

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