Apple Watch First Weekend: Slow Go For Those Who Want One

Apple began delivering the Apple Watch to hopeful fans over the weekend, but the majority of buyers are still waiting for the wearable to arrive.
10 Apple Watch Apps For Business, Productivity
10 Apple Watch Apps For Business, Productivity
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If you ordered an Apple Watch, chances are you're still counting the minutes until it arrives. Estimates place initial orders for the Apple Watch at about 1.4 million during the first week it was available and 1.7 million overall.

Of those orders, fewer than one quarter made their way to anxious buyers on April 24.

Apple began accepting pre-orders for the Apple Watch on April 10 at midnight Pacific Time. Slice Intelligence says 62% of orders placed from April 10 through April 17 were made during the first hour of availability, between Midnight and 1 a.m. Fully 86% of all orders were placed by 8 a.m. April 10. By that time, estimated shipping dates slipped from April 24 to May, then June, then July. Many potential buyers apparently decided to wait before placing their order.

Too bad the Apple Watch isn't available in stores.

Only those who snagged a Watch in the first few minutes of availability were lucky enough to see the wearable reach their doorstep on April 24. About 376,000 of the initial orders, or about 22%, landed in consumers' hands over the first weekend, says Slice Intelligence. It believes about 547,000 watches will ship between April 27 and June 11, based on notifications sent to a panel of more than 2 million online shoppers. About 639,000 are still waiting for any word of their Apple Watch might ship from Apple.

[Apple Watch mysteries revealed? Read Apple Watch Launch: 6 Things We Know Now.]

Developers have been anxious to support the new wearable, says Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research. He says developers have submitted some 20,000 apps for the Watch, and as many as 5,000 have been approved. Apple's app review team has been working round the clock to get Watch apps approved and on the app store.

Some of the first enterprise apps approved come from and Zoho. Uber's app has been approved, but Chowdhry says Instagram is by far the most popular app with Watch owners.

By way of comparison, Google says there are "thousands" of apps available to Android Wear devices. Google says a new SDK is on deck for Android Wear, however, that should boost its appeal with developers.

Given these early numbers, Global Equities Research believes Apple may sell between 40 and 42 million Apple Watches during the remainder of the calendar year. That's far above other estimates, which are in the range of 25 million. These numbers are many multiples higher than adoption rate of Android Wear devices, which saw shipments of only 720,000 during their first calendar year of availability.

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