People flocked to Apple's stores around the world to get a close-up look at the Apple Watch, the tech company's foray into the personal luxury goods market, with Apple predicting demand would exceed supply at product launch.
               
Cook, interviewed on cable television channel CNBC, said initial orders were "great" for the device, available for preorder online and to try out in stores by appointment, but not to take home.


               
"We view this as an indication of solid demand paired with very limited supply," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients. "We continue to expect modest sales in the June quarter as demand ramps over time."
               
A key factor in the watch's success will be demand once an initial wave of interest from Apple enthusiasts subsides.


               
The watch goes on sale officially on April 24, online and through appointments in shops, including trendy fashion 0boutiques in Paris, London and Tokyo, part of Apple's strategy of positioning the wearable computer as a must-have accessory.
               
But soon after online preorders opened on Friday, Apple's website listed shipping times in June for some models of the watch and four to six weeks for others.


               
There was immediately brisk bidding on eBay for confirmed orders for watches, with hundreds of sellers looking to make a few hundred or even thousand dollars by passing on their watches, once received.
               
Testing Apple's mastery of consumer trends, the watch is an  untried concept for the Cupertino, California-based company. It straddles a technology market accustomed to rapid obsolescence and luxury goods whose appeal lies in their enduring value.


               
The Apple Watch sport starts at $349 while the standard version comes in at $549 in the United States. High-end "Edition" watches with 18-karat gold alloys are priced from $10,000 and go as high as $17,000.