Did Apple underestimate the most popular Apple Watch Sport color?

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There's a 64% chance that if you bought an Apple Watch Sport, this is the one you got. Photo: Apple
There's a 64 percent chance that if you bought an Apple Watch Sport, this is the one you got. Photo: Apple

Apple Watch preorders were off to a bang, with an estimated 1.25 million being ordered on day one. Of those watches, the Space Gray Apple Watch Sport with Black Band was, by far, the most popular.

Did Apple screw up its orders?

The question is raised by noted Apple pundit John Gruber, who notes on his blog, Daring Fireball:

One more thing about those Apple Watch estimates from Slice Intelligence: if they’re accurate, they suggest Apple screwed up the color choices for the Sport collection. According to Slice, a whopping 64 percent of Sport purchases were for the space gray model with black band, 22 percent for white, and a mere 6/4/4 for blue/green/pink respectively. If this is even close to the true mix, Apple probably should have left the blue/green/pink bands as accessories only, and added a black-strap-on-silver-watch choice.

There’s going to be favorite models for any iPhone release — how many people are trying to order gold Retina MacBooks right now?

Even so, 64 percent of all customers ordering a single SKU out of half a dozen options does seem to indicate Apple might have grossly underestimated where the demand was going to be coming from.

Anecdotally, while I have no interest in buying an Apple Watch at all, if I were to buy one, the Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray with a Black Band is probably the one I’d get. So count me among the 64 percent.

What about you? Which Apple Watch did you buy? And do you think Gruber is right?

Source: Daring Fireball

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  • First of All, you have no interest in getting an Apple Watch? What kind of Apple guy are you? Ha ha! Joking. Anyways, I am in the 64% also. I would guess its hard to guess public reactions to products, but given that so many people use the Space Grey iPhone 6, maybe they should have known.

    • DarthDisney

      Seriously, this site is CULT of Mac, not “eh kinda not interested in Mac”.

      I am one of the 64% as well…. Having a fruit loop colored band is reserved for those who sad people who crave attention.

      • Anthony Velazquez

        God forbid you have a little color in your life SMH

      • Dan Doughty

        Im part of the 64% as well. Although I will probably buy the white and blue bands. As well as a black milanese loop if they release it. Not craving attention – just like to match

      • Danny

        Exactly the same here. Black is just a color that is easy to match. Some people might like a colorful phone (not me), but something you wear all day will need to match what ur wearing to at least some degree imho. I will buy the white and blue bands soon after release tho, do want to be able to switch it up.

    • healeydave

      I like the Space Grey  Watch but I think that case is only any good if you stick with the black strap it comes with.
      I wanted a sports strap for casual and a classy strap for going out like the Milanese Loop. I don’t think the loop will go with the space grey case, so I opted for the aluminium and saved some money to boot

      • Dan Doughty

        Im really hoping either apple or a 3rd party will offer the milanese in a space gray option. I tried it on in the store and DAMN that thing is sexy

      • Chris Austwick

        The black and blue leather loop look great with the space grey sport model. I’m also part of that large percentage

  • cxc273

    I’ve never really liked Apple’s color choices for its products. The palette Apple’s gone with for the iPhone 5c, iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and now the Apple Watch is too whimsical for my taste.

    I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t let customers purchase a watch body and band separately. I would think that alleviates some stocking and supply issues, especially if it’s true that the green and pink versions are the least popular.

    I do plan on ordering one after I visit a store to try one on, but my preference would be the aluminum sport version with a black band, not the space gray. I may just order an aluminum one with a white band and buy a black band, then just sell the white band on eBay to help defray the cost.

    • Matt B

      Yup I agree. They should just allow you to pick the body of the watch and then pair it with a band of choice.

  • Dan

    They should’ve had White or Black bands for the Apple Watch Sports and then had the other colors as extras. Hint – Look at Fitbit. Limited options with the devices then extra bands as add ons.

    Plus – The silver sport, had all the color options, but the space gray only had black, why?

  • taboo8614

    I was part of that 64% and was lucky enough to get a delivery date of the 24th. Personally i think it was stupid apple did not offer a black band on the silver aluminum watch.

    • JimmyBobb

      Just curious – did you get a firm date of the 24th, or was it 4/24 – 5/9?

      I ordered the same thing and got 4/24 – 5/9.

      • Uber

        From what I’ve read on other websites, there was never a firm date for the Apple Watch. The earliest estimated ship dates provided were “4/24 – 5/8”. I’m assuming he just got his order in really early with that estimate.

      • taboo8614

        I got the same delivery estamate. In the past I’ve always received my apple device on launch day. It might help that I always have it delivered to my office in NYC.

    • Sam

      I ordered the watch minutes after the release and it says available to ship June! Is this because I live in Australia?

      • taboo8614

        I think you were minutes too late. The watch sold out extremely fast. Black aluminum was sold out by 3:05am

      • Darc1

        I got 24/4-5/8 date in Australia 3.04pm (WA)

  • Grimwanderer

    I looked at the space grey Sport and considered it but decided, in the end, that it reminded me too much of a casio watch from the 1980s. Went with the Apple Watch with Black leather loop.

  • Uber

    I ordered silver/green Apple Watch Sport because I knew the demand was going to be really low for that combo, and I’d probably get my watch on day 1. Second, I didn’t want a space grey watch like it seems everyone else will have. Lastly, I joined the Monowear kickstarter to order both a brown leather band and a navy blue leather band. I think they will both look great with the silver Apple Watch Sport face!

  • Jkdem85

    They always underestimate the darker colors. It looks so much better than the other ones, but I ordered the silver color stainless steel because I knew there would be more stock.

  • Mundoman

    I wanted the “aluminum” watch with black band, even went to the store the day before preorders to see if I could exchange bands.
    But no option for me, either get a black watch or toy color bands!!
    Still sure I’m gonna scratch off the stupid black coating.

  • Just1n12

    I am one of the 62% of people yes, and I’m also going to buy a green Sport band because it looks cool with the Space Grey watch face.

  • jbach67

    I am a 64% person as well. I ordered as soon as the store went live and have a ship date range of May 13-27. :(

    • Kdx4

      Same thing happened to me. Even though I’ve ordere multiple times over the years, as well as recently as a couple of days before the pre-orders went live, it still kicked me back for the 3 digit ID number on my cc. It then kicked me back for a secondary phone number. The store didn’t go live to 3:02 EDT according to my iPad, and I received my confirmation email at 3:04. In those 2 minutes the delivery for the space gray slid back to 5/13-5/24. I am so frustrated with apple for the delays.

  • Ronald73

    Millions of people, both Apple fans & Apple detractors, are going to second guess almost every move made by Apple. That’s okay. Personally, I’m waiting for the stealth model of both bands and watches. ‘: – ]

  • Robin Thomson

    Oh c’mon John. You will get an Apple Watch eventually

  • Mike

    SS apple watch link was my choice. Given the size of the 42mm I did’t feel the Milanese would look good on me, it looks best on thicker wrists.

  • Tara

    I ordered the blue watch with an extra black band. I would have just ordered the black watch if it came with the silver face, but the blue will be fun for summer.

  • Grits n Gravy

    For me, the regular edition is too shiny, and shiny watches remind me of fake or cheap jewelry so that’s out. That left the sport and edition, edition is out due to price. I ordered the blue band sport based on the photos, but when I tried on in person, the way the space grey looked convinced me to switch. The screen blends much easier on the space grey model, and that will help when it is off or in watch mode.

  • DMacB

    I would get the space grey one too. I have an original Pebble, which I specifically chose to get in black because it’s the most understated of the colours available. The  Watches are a little classier-looking, but I would still prefer the subtler option. The black stainless steel is good-looking too.

  • abc905

    “Even so, 64 percent of all customers ordering a single SKU out of half a dozen options does seem to indicate Apple might have grossly underestimated where the demand was going to be coming from.”

    …or did they? Who said all SKUs were stocked equally? Apple doesn’t know how to conduct surveys of a sample population?

  • Noel Blackman

    That is the exact combo I would have ordered….

  • Sakkara

    64%er here. Practically speaking I’m pretty active and over time the colored bans are gonna get icky.

  • Sheep

    I don’t get it. How does 64% demand indicate Apple’s estimation in any way (over or under)? It simply indicates that 64% of the sales are for space-grey-black-band. For all we know, 64% of Apple’s supply might be exactly of that colour. Or heck Apple could even be overestimating: 99% of their supply could be of space-grey-black-band model, but who knows, the article doesn’t really say anything about Apple’s estimation figures, nor does it explain how the author can take that sales figure and arrive at a conclusion about Apple’s supply-chain (mis)estimation. What a bizarrely written article.

  • Peter Saward

    Yep, I’m a 64 percenter. Fingers crossed for April 24 delivery…

  • jeffsters

    I’m I the only one around here sick and tired of these stories? Apple hasn’t released sales numbers! People are making up numbers using suspect polling techniques and now we have stories based upon those stories? Really?

  • William Lacey

    I’m among the 64% and I placed my order for 2 (one 38mm & one 42mm) at 12:02am PST and my delivery date is 5/13-27.

  • Ramin Zandieh

    I’m part of 64% too, glad I made my purchase in first hour of the pre-order. Still have to wait a month! Apple sport watch gray one was the only good choice! Besides, I dont want to replace my Omega sea master watch with apple watch so I think its the best deal to use it at gym and in any work out. Also black color is so elegant and classy.

  • Ramin Zandieh

    I am part of the 64% too! Glad I made it at the first hour of pre order opening. Well, I was lucky to be able to receive it at end of May. The Gray sport watch was really the best option for dudes. The rest are so tacky or girly. Hope it’d be worth waiting so long for the delivery.

  • ndre

    To me, Gruber is right on money since my preferred Sport combination would have been black-strap-on-silver-watch

  • Jason Rosenfeld

    I ordered the space gray sport. It looks the most like the black watches I usually wear. I have a citizen ecodrive in silver, but don’t really like silver watches. If I went with steel it would be for the sapphire face, but who am I kidding? I’ll probably have a screen protector and the glass will never be touched by human hands anyway. Besides, my ecodrive with sapphire scratched up, so it would probably be covered.

    The other thing about steel, though is that it’s roughly twice as heavy as the aluminum sport, which is a bit much for a fitness tracker. Not too heavy but just more weight to make it move around on your wrist. Even my fitbit starts to dig in when I jog and I clip that to my collar. If it’s too heavy, maybe one arm will become too massive. :)

  • Coatsey

    It’s the one I ordered. My issue is had it not been for this colour scheme I would have given the watch a miss to as nearly 1,000 is too much given you need an iPhone as well. The Sports version, bar this one looks cheep and you have to almost double the cost to get a watch that is nice enough yet the star does not buy anything other than a slightly different finish and strap.

    So I would argue their pre-sales might have been 64% less had it not been for the space grey version…

  • Jordan Webber

    Space Black 42mm SS, here. One of the lucky ones who got a ship date in May.