With less than two days until the Apple Watch launches in the United States and eight other countries, customers who pre-ordered the Apple Watch and received shipping estimates of 4-6 weeks or later are beginning to see earlier than expected movement on their orders placed through the Apple Online Store.
A growing number of people have turned to the MacRumors discussion forums and tipped us individually about their Apple Watch pre-orders with 4-6 weeks or June delivery estimates changing from “Processing Items” to “Preparing for Shipment” on Apple’s order tracking page for various aluminum and stainless steel models.
A portion of those that pre-ordered have also seen credit or debit card charges from Apple appear on their statements, although it is likely that the majority of those charges are Apple preauthorizations to ensure a customer’s bank account is in good standing. Apple’s payment and pricing information on its website provides further details about the steps that are taken.
“When you place an order, Apple will contact your credit or debit card’s issuing bank to confirm it is a valid account. Apple requests an authorization, which holds the funds for the full or partial purchase amount. As Apple prepares your items, authorized funds will be unavailable and may display as “pending” on your credit or debit card’s online statement.
If you are shipping an item, your card will only be charged after the item has shipped. For pickup items, you will be billed before your item is ready for pick up. If your order contains multiple items, you may see multiple charges on your credit or debit card statement.”
It remains unknown how many customers will receive their Apple Watch pre-orders on April 24, the day the wrist-worn device officially launches in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. Any movement on pre-orders, however, such as order status changes and credit and debit card charges, is a good sign for those patiently anticipating the arrival of their Apple Watch.
MacRumors reported earlier this month that Apple Watch pre-orders could arrive sooner than expected based on an email exchange with Apple’s executive relations that said extended shipping estimates are set purposefully to avoid disappointment through false guarantees. At the same time, the exact number of Apple Watch pre-orders fulfilled on day one remains to be seen.