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?

Jeff

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.

Timothy

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.

Lory

I ordered exactly what I set out to order.

Cody

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

Sebastien

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).

Oliver

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?

Jeff

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.

Timothy

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.”

Lory

In 4 – 6 weeks

Cody

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

Sebastien

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

Oliver

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?

Jeff

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.

Timothy

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.

Lory

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.

Cody

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.

Sebastien

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.

Oliver

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.

Wrap-up

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