Apple has now confirmed what the rumour mill has been saying for a while – that you won’t be able to purchase an Apple Watch on launch day unless you’ve made a reservation beforehand.
The smartwatch launches a fortnight on Friday, but you won’t simply be able to queue up (overnight or otherwise) and walk into an Apple store, then buy a device off the shelf. Any potential buyers need to go through a reservation system to bag their chance of purchasing an Apple Watch on April 24, Cupertino told C-Net.
And this isn’t just to do with initial stock shortages of the device – which have also been long rumoured – but this reservation system will remain in place even after the launch period apparently. In the near-term, anyone who wants to buy an Apple Watch will need to book an appointment for a fitting.
This also means that you’ll need to pick out the exact model, strap and colour you want in advance – there’s no guarantee there’ll be stock of different variants if you change your mind on the day, during your fitting/demo of the device.
All of which handily helps to build up a nice head of hype steam prior to the big launch – although it will perhaps lead to some angry customers who don’t understand the above points on the day.
We also recently heard that those splashing out a pile of cash on the Watch Edition (which starts at £8,000) will get preferential treatment, with longer 30 minute appointments (as opposed to the normal 15 minute slot) with a more in-depth look at the device’s features and straps.
Many analysts are predicting that the Apple Watch will kick-start the smartwatch market this year, and the latest guestimate from IDC is that wearables as a whole will be driven from 19.6 million units shipped last year, to 45.7 million in 2015.