Finally Apple has decided to put an end to Apple Watch’s exclusively online sales. Instead, the Cupertino-based tech titan is planning to sell its latest wearable device in brick-and-mortar retail stores. If the latest reports in this connection are true, the change will take place very soon, possibly in this month itself.
Since the Apple Watch was launched in April, most customers could solely purchase the device from Apple online. The only way for one to get it in-person was from a few luxe retail boutiques, such as Maxfield in Los Angeles or Isetan in Tokyo.
IB Times reports that an Apple internal video obtained by 9to5Mac shows Apple senior vice-president (Retail) Angela Ahrendts and Apple vice-president (Retail Operations) Jim Bean telling the company staff that preparations were already in progress for the in-store launch of the smartwatch.
While Apple will make the smartwatch available at physical retail stores soon, it is likely that many customers may not get the precise Apple Watch model they want when they walk into a store impulsively. The video shows Bean saying, “It’s going to be a little tougher to get everyone the exact [Watch] that they want.” Consequently, Apple will also use a “Reserve and Pickup” system online.
Apple has explained the manner in which the new system will work. Henceforth, customers will be able to check the Apple Online Store at 8 a.m. to find if a local store has the smartwatch model they want. In case the model is available, they can instantly reserve the watch and choose a time for pickup. For the time being, this system will only apply to select countries and markets where the Apple Watch is available. These countries include the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, China, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and the U.K.
According to the report, it was expected that Apple would implement the reserve and pickup system for the Apple Watch at launch, but that didn’t happen.
Moreover, customers will get an opportunity to try on demo Apple Watches paired to an iPhone. Earlier, the only way customers could check the functions of the Apple Watch was by means of a model connected to a demo display, and the try-on units ran a non-interactive demo loop.
However, Ahrendts and Bean refrained from disclosing a precise in-store launch date. On the other hand, earlier Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the company expects to have them in stores by June. According to 9to5Mac, soon after the in-store launches, Apple may also expand the Apple Watch to additional countries.