Apple MacBook

Apple Watch, MacBook ship times slip even more

apple watch online store
Credit: Apple

Most Watch orders now ship in June; MacBook pushed out 4-6 weeks

Shipping times for Apple's Watch and new MacBook stretched into the future over the weekend, with most of the former now showing "June" and the latter backordered four to six weeks.

According to Apple's online store, all models of the Sport -- Apple's lowest-price wearable, which starts at $349 -- showed the wide window of June as the ship date. All the 42mm Watch models, the collection defined by a stainless steel case -- were also backordered to the same month, although most of the smaller 38mm choices had "4-6 weeks" as the ship timetable.

The Watch sold out almost instantly early Friday when the device went on sale, with even immediate orders pegged to ship in four to six weeks.

Apple is selling the Watch only through its online stores for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. The very earliest orders will presumably start shipping on April 24.

Meanwhile, the new MacBook -- a 12-in. Retina-equipped, ultra-light notebook that starts at $1,299 -- went from ship dates of just one to three business days (for the silver and space-gray tints) and three to four weeks (gold) on Friday, to four to six weeks across the board by Saturday morning.

Potential buyers of the MacBook have also been pushed by Apple to order online. Checks today of Apple retail stores in the Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Portland metro areas again failed to find any that had the new notebook in stock and available for immediate pickup after placing an online order.

The emphasis on online ordering is new for Apple. Last week, the company's head of retail and online sales reportedly acknowledged that "this is a significant change in mindset" while telling employees to inform customers that "we have more availability online."

Backorders are nothing new to Apple.

In September, the iPhone 6 Plus slipped to a ship date of three to four weeks almost as soon as the first orders were filed. At the debut of Mac Pro sales in mid-December 2013, Apple instantly shoved the dark tower-style desktop to February 2014 delivery, then later pushed orders another two months down the road.

Apple didn't match supply with demand for the Mac Pro until six months after the expensive computer -- it starts at $2,999 -- went on sale.

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