Been reading a lot about how Apple marketing may have made some missteps in the rollout of the Apple Watch. Today, Apple seemed to acknowledge those mistakes by removing the 4.24.15 text from their website.
Many pundits point to the fact that in spite of dozens of watch styles, more than half of all Apple Watch orders were for the same one: the 42mm black Sport model (it's the one I wanted too). How could Apple get this so wrong.
It reminded me of the first launch of the "Yum" colored iMacs. In that day, no one had any idea which color would be the most popular and retailers could not easily return unsold stock. How many Tangerine or Strawberry iMacs should Apple make? What if no one wanted to buy the Lime green model? While Apple eventually took the burden off its channel partners by allowing them to trade in any unsold inventory, it seems to me that Apple missed a huge opportunity to change the rules of preorder supply and demand management- something I expected to be job one of Tim Cook's Apple.
Why didn't Apple create the ability for people to use the Apple Watch app – installed weeks ago on every iPhone with iOS 8.3 (and completely worthless until it can be paired) – to identify their favorite watch model long before April 10th rolled around?
Apple would have known what models to build and produced a much better user experience – letting loyal users purchase the Apple Watch from the same iPhone it would later be paired to.
At the very least, in the spirit of ResearchKit, Apple could have helped users create a preorder queue and alerted them in advance to models in short supply, instead of making them do what I'm sure many people (like me) did on the wee hours of April 10 – finding a backup model that had a better chance of shipping on 4.24.15 than the model they really wanted.
Note to Angela Ahrendts: you can do better.