One month after Apple began taking Apple Watch pre-orders with a promised April 24 release date, many customers — including people who ordered immediately after Apple’s online store returned — are still awaiting their Watches. As noted on Apple’s discussion forums and numerous social media postings, many Apple Watch models appear to be trickling out of the company’s factories, while Watches bundled with certain premium bands have apparently not yet shipped.
The most significantly delayed Apple Watches are apparently Apple’s four Stainless Steel Case with Link Bracelet models ($949-$1,099), four Stainless Steel Case with Leather Loop models ($699 each), and four Stainless Steel Case with Modern Buckle models ($749 each), which do not appear to have shipped at all.
Update: Following publication of this story, several readers reported the first credit card charges for silver Apple Watch orders with Link Bracelets, covering orders placed five or fewer minutes after Apple’s online store returned. Orders for Space Black versions of the Apple Watch have not yet been charged…
Special gold Link Bracelets have, however, been spotted on Apple Watch Edition models worn by Beyoncé, Karl Lagerfeld, and Kanye West, and the first silver Link Bracelets and Leather Loops began to ship as accessories — not with Watches — last week. In particular, Space Black versions of the Apple Watch have been so limited that some Apple Stores did not even receive try-on models. German reports noted earlier this month that Apple had updated its official Space Black images to show a darker coating than was originally depicted, suggesting that something may have changed late in that model’s production process.
Similarly, although an initial shipment of Space Gray Apple Watch Sport models arrived in time for the April 24 launch, readers have reported that orders for this color have been heavily backlogged. 9to5Mac has confirmed that orders placed for the 42mm Silver Apple Watch Sport are being fulfilled weeks ahead of the 42mm Space Gray version, with Silver Apple Watch Sport models now shipping to customers who ordered a week after pre-orders began.
Both models are currently being promised with “July” delivery dates for new orders. Reader reports have suggested that some of the black Sport Bands packaged with Space Gray and certain other Apple Watches are discoloring after only days of use, which may account for some of the delays.
To date, Los Angeles boutique Maxfield is the only retailer in the United States to have offered Apple Watches for same-day or next-day purchase, having somehow procured both Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch models for customers who wanted to skip Apple’s line. 9to5Mac has confirmed reports that Maxfield sold a portion of its inventory to a returning group of scalpers, having placed a generous 20-Watch lifetime cap on sales to individuals. Apple imposed a six-Watch lifetime limit on individual sales to deter resellers.