Apple confirms some Apple Watch orders shipping out earlier than estimated

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Apple on Wednesday confirmed reports that some Apple Watch orders are shipping out earlier than expected, with customers previously scheduled to take receipt of the device as late as May and June now seeing "preparing for shipment" order status.

It was reported earlier today that customers are now seeing "preparing for shipment" status on orders previously estimated to ship in four to six weeks and beyond. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Apple has confirmed suppliers are working hard to beat those estimates.

"We're happy to be updating many customers today with the news that their Apple Watch will arrive sooner than expected," an Apple representative said. "Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on the available supply and the order in which they were received. We know many customers are still facing long lead times and we appreciate their patience."

Apple did not offer further comment on the change in shipping times, nor did the company say which Apple Watch models were being shipped out early. When Apple Watch went up for preorder on April 10, initial stock dwindled within minutes of going live as early buyers saw ship-by times increase from launch day to 4-6 weeks.

In a video sent out to Apple Store employees on Tuesday, retail chief Angela Ahrendts said demand for Watch was intense, asking workers to impress upon customers that the device is a not only a new product, but an entirely new platform. She mentioned walk-ins have been confused as to how best procure a Watch, especially given pre-release demonstration availability with Watch try-ons, a departure from routine for Apple.

For now, Apple is restricting orders to the Online Apple Store and does not plan to have in-store units available until June, at the earliest.

Apple's statement comes on the heels of reports earlier today noting a second wave of Apple Watch preorders could hit as early as May 8 in countries like Italy, which suggests production is quickly ramping up.