(AA) – Pre-orders for the Apple Watch went live in nine countries Friday but sold out within hours, with almost all current orders not shipping until June at the earliest.
Seeking a glimpse of the new smartwatch, customers lined up at Apple Stores in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, the device’s first-wave launch countries.
Apple Watch, which officially goes on sale April 24, is Apple’s first venture into wearable devices as well as its first true dabble with luxury goods.
The Apple Watch Edition is made with 18-karat gold and carries a price as high as $12,000, the most expensive Apple product ever.
The chance to receive a device within a few weeks quickly disappeared, however, after Apple opened up pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time.
According to a note posted by analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the supply for the official launch “was largely sold out within the first 10 to 30 minutes depending on model.”
The prolonged shipping times that are following the rapid pace of Apple Watch pre-orders suggest the California company did not fully anticipate how popular the new product line would be with customers.
“Overall we view this as an indication of solid demand paired with very limited supply,” Munster continued, “with supply being the most significant limiting factor.”
The Apple Watch is the first groundbreaking new product line from Apple under current chief executive Tim Cook, and the first excitement-churning device since the late Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010. Early reviews have been mostly positive, although many critics have wondered how customers will interact with the device, a criticism often lodged during the early days of Apple’s tablet.
Since Apple Watch is not available in all countries, the mounting backlog in the nine launch nations will most likely cause a longer wait for those who live elsewhere due to delays within Apple’s supply chain.