Neil's Spiel: Apple botched its Watch rollout

Technology consultant Russ Frushtick, FOXBusiness.com reporter Katie Roof and FBN's Neil Cavuto on the rollout of the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Arriving Early

By Mobile FOXBusiness

Apple (AAPL) Watch packages may arrive earlier than expected, with some items that were originally backordered for summer, now prepared to ship ahead of schedule.

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“We’re happy to be updating many customers today with the news that their Apple Watch will arrive sooner than expected,” said Apple in a statement. “Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on the available supply and the order in which they were received. We know many customers are still facing long lead times and we appreciate their patience.”

The company quickly sold its supply of Apple Watch in the first few minutes of the online pre-order on April 10th, with some customers being warned that their devices could arrive as late as August. Analysts and others have  speculated that this could have been due to manufacturing issues.

It is unclear whether the improved shipment schedule is due to canceled orders or a speedier supply chain. Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ thinks that the revised shipment dates suggest that “Apple is reaching out to its suppliers to have them ramp up production efforts.”

Apple originally planned to sell the watches in stores on April 24th, but changed the plan the day before the pre-launch, predicting that demand would exceed supply. The Apple Watch will no longer be sold at Apple stores and will only be available at select boutiques on the 24th.

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Apple has not indicated when its stores will have the Apple Watch, but in a leaked video, senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, told employees that Apple will “only be taking orders online right now” due to “high global interest and initial supply.”  

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Analysts are at odds about how many watches Apple will sell. Zino predicts that 10 million devices will be sold in 2015, while Walt Piecyk, analyst at BTIG, predicts that 30 million could be sold this year.

This was the first new product category under CEO Tim Cook’s leadership. The last time Apple launched a new type of device was when the iPad debuted in 2010.

Apple shares are up 17% year-to-date and are currently trading around $129. The company has a market cap of $752 billion.