The virtual cash registers at the online Apple Store were getting a workout early this morning thanks to the start of pre-orders for both the Apple Watch and the new 12-inch Retina display MacBook. The store opened up pretty much on time at 12:01 AM PDT (3:01 AM EDT), with many buyers actually being able to get orders in through the iPhone Apple Store app well before they were able to open the store on laptop and desktop browsers.
The Watch was one of the primary reasons people were forgoing sleep in order to place a pre-order. Shortly after the store opened, ship times for most of the 42mm models of the aluminum Watch Sport and the stainless steel Watch had slipped to 4 to 6 weeks. About an hour later, all models of the Watch were shipping in late May and June. The Watch is a unique item; unlike most products, which see an online pre-order followed by an in-store launch, the Watch will be available only online. Starting today, customers can visit Apple Stores around the world to view and try on a Watch, but they’ll be asked to make an online order.
The MacBook also received a warm welcome from customers. Yesterday, initial reviews of the new 2 pound laptop showed that despite having a relatively slow processor and only a single USB-C port, many members of the tech press feel that the device is a groundbreaking product. Most reviews lauded the display, long battery life, light weight, and Force Touch trackpad, while having concerns about the single I/O port and speed.
The gold version of the MacBook ended up being the most popular model in pre-ordering, with ship dates for both the base 1.1 GHz Intel M CPU/8GB RAM/256GB SSD and 1.2 GHz/8GB/512GB versions quickly slipping to 3 to 4 weeks. The Space Gray and Silver models are currently showing much more reasonable ship dates in the range of 1 to 3 days. Any configure-to-order models — specifically the versions with the 1.3 GHz Intel M processor — show shipping times in the 3 to 4 week range as well.
Did you pre-order either of the two newest Apple products last night? If so, what did you order and did you get what you wanted? Let us know in the comments.