Starting Friday April 10, you will be able to pre-order your own Apple Watch. Unlike with previous product releases, however, you won't be lining up outside the store for days to be the first to receive the new product.
"We expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch," said Apple's senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts. "To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period."
According to these statements by Ahrendts in the press release, the primary reason behind this move to an online release comes out of the necessity to better manage the distribution of new devices. Although this is probably true, there are several other reasons to move to online product releases, too.
One major reason behind this change is to bring an end to the long lines outside of stores before products are released. Sometimes Apple product releases often see fans lining up outside the store days in advance.
The lines continue to grow leading up to the product launch, and ultimately the number of customers in line hoping to buy the latest device exceeds the number of devices in the store. Those towards the back of the line who have waited hours to get the device will go home empty-handed and disappointed.
With pre-ordering online, customers that cannot get the Apple Watch will likely be less disappointed than they would be had they waited several hours in line before finding out they couldn't get the Apple Watch.
Starting April 10, potential customers who want to be fitted for the new Apple Watch and try it out, can go to stores where a specialist will assist them and demonstrate the device's features. To ensure this also doesn't get out of hand, however, you have to make an appointment ahead of time.
The Apple Watch will be available in three versions:
|Apple Watch Sport||Aluminum Alloy/Ion-X Glass||$349||$399|
|Apple Watch||316L Stainless Steel/Sapphire Glass||$549||$1,099|
|Apple Watch Edition||18 Karat Gold||$10,000 - $17,000||$10,000 - $15,000|
The Apple Watch Edition, though much more expensive, is made of an 18-karat gold alloy that can be customized rose or yellow gold in color.
Pre-order starts at April 10, 12:01am PDT, and the Apple Watch will begin shipping to customers on April 24. You won't be able to get an Apple Watch in stores until a later date, however.