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Apple Watch Order Statuses Shifting to 'Preparing for Shipment'
The change to customer order statuses comes just minutes after Apple began charging credit and debit cards for Apple Watch purchases. As we have previously mentioned, bulk shipments of the Apple Watch have already been arriving at central distribution centers across the United States from China, where the Apple Watch was manufactured. Apple Watch orders will ship out from these central distribution centers via Fedex and UPS, so despite the late shipping date, many devices will arrive on Friday.
With the iPhone 6, Apple also shipped hundreds of thousands of devices to central distribution centers before updating customers on the status of their orders. iPhones began shipping out on Monday and Tuesday for a Friday delivery, and it's likely Apple Watch orders will follow the same general timeline.
Deliveries could come from any of the major shipping hubs in the United States, which include Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky (UPS' WorldPort location); Indianapolis, Indiana; Newark, New Jersey; and Oakland, California. Many orders are likely to pass first through Anchorage, Alaska, where both UPS and FedEx have logistics centers, before heading out to other distribution sites.
The earliest Apple Watch pre-orders listed ambiguous delivery dates of 4/24 to 5/8, but Apple's head of retail Angela Ahrendts stated in a memo to employees last week that "customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned," so customers who managed to pre-order in the minutes before shipping dates started slipping will see deliveries this week.
Once an order changes to Preparing for Shipment, customers may be able to track by reference number using a phone number on the UPS and FedEx websites to get tracking information before a shipping email even goes out.