Apple Watch faces CNET 001

It’s been quite the day for Apple today with not just one new product in its stores, but two. Both the new MacBook and the Apple Watch have arrived in stores, though the former isn’t actually stocked for purchase and must be ordered online, and the latter is only available for pre-order at this time. Still, big day.

If you were one of the untold number who pre-ordered an Apple Watch today, then you probably had quite the experience. Pre-orders went live at the same time around the globe, whether that be anywhere between midnight and 3am in the States, to a much more reasonable 8am in the UK. As is always the case with these big online launches, things got messy, though it’s clear Apple’s servers held up considerably better than they have in the past.

The best course of action was to get all of your ducks in a row ready for go time, and if you used the iOS Apple Store app to do your ordering, then you probably got in and out before the website even went live again after its now customary downtime whenever a new product launches. If you got your order through in time, then you probably have an Apple Watch coming on day one. If not, well, it could be July. And that’s not a joke.

With the vast majority of the iDB team placing orders for a range of Apple Watches today, we thought it might be fun to have a little recap not just of what we ordered, but how we found the process, and more importantly, whether we managed to order the model of Apple Watch we set out for. With stocks fluctuating and demand high, that wasn’t always as simple as it may seem.

Let’s get started.

What watch did you set out to order before pre-orders started?

Jeff Benjamin

I set out to purchase a Space Gray 42mm Aluminum Sport Watch with a black band, and a 38mm Silver Sport Watch with a white band.

Timothy Reavis

After much inward turmoil, I settled on the stainless steel Apple Watch with the White Sport Band in the moments preceding 3:01 a.m. EST. I had been wavering between a variety of models, including that one, a Sport model, and the stainless steel case with a Link Bracelet.

Lory Gil

Space Gray Sport 38mm

Cody Lee

A 42mm Space Gray Sport with black band and 38mm Sport with white band.

Sebastien Page

My plan was to order three different watches to cover my bases in order to make sure I would be able to receive two directly at my door, and also be able to pick one up in store. This way, I would have guaranteed having a watch on day one, and I would have then returned the models I didn’t want. I wanted to order a black stainless steel with black Link bracelet, a stainless steel with white sport band, and a Sport watch with white sport band.

Oliver Haslam

Before we got pricing I had my eye on the Space Black Apple Watch with the black link bracelet. I had a feeling that might be pricey and, it turned out, it is. The next best thing is the Space Gray Sport with a black strap. Given the fact this is a first generation product and I still don’t really know whether I’ll use it as often as I hope, the cheaper option was the one I decided to go for.

Which did you actually order?


I hesitated about ordering the second watch (38mm) but I went ahead and did that as well. So in the end I got exactly what I initially planned to get, and I have no regrets.


I ordered the stainless steel Apple Watch with the White Sport Band as planned, and followed it later with an order for the Link Bracelet, which I may or may not cancel, depending on whether my inner frugality can overpower my adoration for that band in time.


I ordered exactly what I set out to order.


A 42mm Space Gray Sport with black band and 38mm Sport with white band.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get an order in for the black stainless steel, as its shipping date was immediately pushed back to June. I was however able to order the two other models I wanted (stainless steel and aluminum with white band).


The Space Gray Apple Watch Sport, with a black strap. I plan on ordering a black leather loop strap at some point, but given the lead times on them I’m going to wait until I can just walk into a store and buy one, I think.

When will it ship?


Both are scheduled to arrive between 4/24 and 5/8. I’m hoping to get at least one of them on launch day, but I’m not going to hold my breath.


My Apple Watch will be shipping on time, between April 24 and May 8 as scheduled. Shipping time for the separately ordered Link Bracelet, however, simply says “May.”


In 4 – 6 weeks


The 38mm says ships between April 24-May 8 and 42mm says 4-6 weeks.


Both models are said to ship 4/24 – 5/8, which means I am not guaranteed to get a watch on day one.


Between launch day and a couple of weeks after that, which seems pretty standard fare for those who got in quick. I’ve not heard of anyone with anything more concrete than that, so I’m taking it as launch day until told otherwise!

How did you find the overall experience?


The actual ordering process was easy. The store became available only 2-3 minutes after midnight, which is nice. Usually Apple takes forever to open its online store, but this time around it was fairly prompt. I didn’t like that the in-store pickup options were basically non-starters. I also didn’t appreciate the fact that you’re given an expedited shipping option, but you can’t actually choose expedited shipping. That’s frustrating. Overall, I give the experience a B+. It was way more smooth than any iPhone launch I’ve been involved in.


The whole process was relatively seamless. Pre-orders opened nearly on time in the Apple Store app, which is how I ordered, and I’m set to receive the most important part of my order on day one. No complaints here.


I started my order in the Apple Store app instead of online because online wasn’t working at the time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use my Apple Retail Store gift card in the app, so I ended up going back online to order from the web store. At 12:08, I completed my order and the shipping time had already hit 4-6 weeks for Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray (although, it may have been that long of a shipping time from the start). I’m a little bummed out that I have to wait so long.


The best in recent memory in terms of online store stability, but in using the Apple Store app I was only able to process 1 watch order at a time, which was inconvenient. Also, like everyone else, I was very shocked at how quickly models sold out. Literally within 2-3 minutes the Space Gray 42mm Sport was gone.


Just like every Apple pre-order, this was a nightmarish experience. It didn’t start on time, web pages were throwing errors, etc. I understand Apple has very limited supply, but it still made for a poor experience overall.


Believe it or not, this is the first time I have ever pre-ordered from Apple. That being said, I made sure I was ready and knew the iOS app would be my best bet. I got my credit card details updated ahead of time and added my watch of choice as a favorite. As soon as the app started working at 08:03 here in the UK, it took a couple of taps and my watch was ordered. Simplicity itself.


So there you have it. How was your pre-order experience?

  • M L

    Seems like the 4/24 – 5/8 are the standard, earliest times….glad mine said that time frame also 🙂

    • Yeah, I got the same shipping date for my watch (42mm Watch with Classic Buckle). I hope that since I got in super quick (Apple Pay rocks) that I get the Watch on the earlier side of that timeframe.

  • Manor

    Why did you buy the Apple Watch over the Pebble Time steel or waiting for google to add iOS support to Android Wear?

    • Because both options you mention will be terribly handicapped compared to what Apple Watch can do. Pebble only offers one way communication (ie. you can’t send a text message from your Pebble), and I’m pretty sure Android Wear compatibility will be just as limited.

      Edit: I mean “handicapped” if you use an iPhone. Obviously, if you use an Android device, then AW is just as potent as Apple Watch.

      • Manor

        Do you really see yourself sending messages from your watch? I don’t know, maybe it takes some getting used to. Just for the battery life, I would rather have the pebble, and I think it is possible to send messages from it (hopefully it will support iOS)

      • Marcus

        It would be a very useful feature when driving. If you’re waiting at a stoplight, you could just use your watch instead of your phone for efficiency purposes. It could be safer and it’s a lot easier.

      • @dongiuj

        Disagree. Focusing on a smaller screen while driving/sitting in traffic makes you less aware on what is happening around you, this can be dangerous if not lethal. I hope you never do this.

      • Marcus

        Are you serious? There are less distractions on a smaller screen and if you’re going to text and drive, it’s much safer to use an Apple Watch. You can send a message in 5-10 seconds and you’re done. On an iPhone it would take longer.

      • @dongiuj

        Yes, I’m very serious. Focusing on a small display will more than likely cause more focus compared to a larger display just like if you use a smaller monitor on your computer/watching TV on a smaller screen compared to larger ones at the same distance (this is just common knowledge). If you think focusing on a MUCH smaller screen needs less focus then there’s something wrong with you. Also the “convenience” of a smaller screen on your wrist means it will encourage more mindless moronic drivers to use that smaller display.
        The amount of drivers I see everyday that are totally oblivious to what’s happening around them on the roads is insane. If you think a smaller more visually difficult to see screen is going to help then there IS something wrong with you.
        And can you tell me where you got your “it’s much safer” information about texting AND driving on an apple watch, please?

      • Agreed, focusing on such a tiny screen of text (which will most likely have texts that are smaller than the standard 12 or 10 font-size) will automatically require you to strain your eyes to gain better focus, thus taking more attention away from the road and your surroundings.

      • ieatcalcium

        That doesn’t make sense though… On a smaller screen, you look at it, and you don’t have to do any searching. You can only really have one thing on the screen at a time. You also aren’t texting. You’re talking to the watch.

      • Guest

        not if you are using “Hey Siri”

      • L J

        never forget siri my friend. Just tell it what you wanna say and there goes your message.

      • @dongiuj

        I see your point there. But this guy is talking about texting and driving that’s totally different.

      • Cameron

        thats true, but technically, the watch wasnt made to be focused on, just quick notifications and also pre made quick replies. Hes point is valid in which the watch helps a little more while driving than picking up, then holding a smartphone on one hand to actually start typing, or accepting calls.

      • Cameron

        lol i actually agree with you, but i cant really disagree with them either, so im just gonna stand back and feel like a badass who drives and texts, eats or whatever, often.

      • ieatcalcium

        “Handicapped”? I think the biggest handicap is the battery life of the apple watch.

    • Marcus

      iDB is an Apple related blog and the writers need to have the latest Apple tech to keep up with everything. I don’t think any of the writers on iDB would go out and buy a new Surface or Chromebook. They would save their money to buy a new iPad or MacBook because it relates more to what their profession is and what their passion is. Aside from that, Apple makes things better anyways.

      • Manor

        I meant that if they didn’t work at an Apple related site would they still choose the Apple Watch over the competitions.

  • @dongiuj

    And THAT ladies and gentlemen is why orders have been pushed back so late so quickly. The greed of the 21st century consumer.

    • Cameron

      Might also be the fact that Apple might have just made less available due to the difficulty in estimating demands, i personally know 3 friends, big fanboys like me who are not buying the apple watch. Although i reckon they will eventually.

  • Donstil

    The experience was shitty. I was there when the store opend trough the iOS app on my phone.

    Watch said 24/4-8/5 so i put down a (express checkout) order. But did not get an conformation email what so ever, when I login the order is there only it now says 4-6 weeks. (I know. That means 6 weeks til shipping, so make that 7 weeks til it’s in my hands).

    So bummed overall. I was there just 1 or 2 minutes after Nine (Gmt+1).

  • rfow

    I ordered mine at 3:05a from an Apple Retail store network, as we were preparing the Watch to go on display. Our site took a bit to pop up. I wanted the Space Gray 42mm Sport but I ended up getting White 42mm Sport. Which I don’t mind because I think after all, getting to play with all of them, I like the silver aluminum better. I can always get another band. And it shaved a month+ off my ship time.

    Hope everyone enjoys their watch!

  • Unicorn Drank

    My expectations were shattered when I ordered the watch 3 mins from 12:01 PST, I was refreshing the app and the website, they both were not working at launch time, and once it finally worked via the app it said I had to wait from May 15-24, I’m disappoint with this since I also thought I was going to be able to pick it up but that was not an option.

    • techfreak23

      Yeah IDB and other blogs kept reporting that the option for in store pick up was going to be available, but they are barely going to have any stock in the stores, so that option was non-existent last night. Apple never once said you would be able to do that at launch. They will eventually bring that option back as supply gets better.

  • techfreak23

    My experience was a perfect experience. Only had to relaunch the app on my phone 2-3 times before it let me in. I already knew EXACTLY which one I wanted (38mm Space Gray Sport with Black Sport Band), so I tapped on it, tapped preorder, and paid with Apple Pay with Touch ID. The whole process took less than 10 seconds. My order was placed within 2 minutes of the gates opening, so I better damn well be getting mine on day 1!

    • William Melendez

      Exactly how I feel lol

  • Scott Opper

    4-6 weeks at 3:02am

  • Jacob S

    I wasn’t sure if I was going to order one because of the price variations (confusing) and available combo. But later decided to order a space gray with black sports band. By the time it was already pushed back to Junr delivery. So I have plenty of time to keep my order or cancel it depends on the after launch reviews. No regret here.

  • Ali

    Lory keeping it short and sweet! (except the last paragraph) haha

  • As predicted; the Watch is a hit; and in no time at all grandma will be wearing one; using the “help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” app. Store was down at 12:05 am; I fell asleep, and ordered at 7 am. 4-5 weeks for delivery.

    • George

      You can’t say its a hit until people own one for 14 days past the return period. There are people that will find zero use for it and not want it.

  • MacGuru96

    Just like Lory, I had some initial unforeseen complications with my Space Grey and black Sport model that resulted in a shipping estimate of 4-6 weeks. I thought I had already updated my payment info, but that wasn’t the case at 02:03 this morning. :/

  • Stephen Mallett

    Not gonna lie. With the “Message Important” ad on all of iDB’s pages now, I can’t even read an article.

  • Chris Holden

    ”and I would have then returned the models I didn’t want.”

    thatss so disrespectuful

  • @dongiuj

    Right, now use a video not made by apple. Of course they’re going to make it sound so magical, they’re trying to sell it.

    Just watching that looks more fidgety than using a smartphone. Just look how small everything looks. In a car which was your original point, it will take you a lot longer than 5-10 seconds to pull up the text, read it and then reply to it unless you just ignore everything around you and your car and traffic. Sorry, I think you’ve used a bad example.

    The only “safer” way to deal with messages is, as mentioned by someone else here, using Siri. Your phone can do that anyway.

    • Marcus

      In my original comment I mentioned replying to the text at a stoplight and not while driving. I don’t care though.

      I could honestly argue my point forever and I’m sure you could too… Let’s just call this argument even because it’s getting late and I don’t even like the Apple Watch to begin with. Have a good one, nice talking to you.

      • @dongiuj

        I don’t like it either. Good night.

  • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

    Apple are taking it very conservative this time around. Why exactly does a Watch need a shipping date of July? Good from a perspective of countering risk from unsold inventory but then you will have scalpers have a picnic everywhere.

  • Anybody remember this?

  • DSN1138

    I was told at the apple store that only the sports bands work with the sport model…. I ordered the black sport but when I went to the store and looked I ended up liking the stainless steel more. so I preordered that one too.

  • Digitalfeind
  • Oliver Warders

    I wonder how they will design the next model.