The Apple Watch officially went on sale Friday but if you've been trying to get your hands on one you'll probably have realised by now that it's not that simple. In fact, it almost seems like Apple doesn't want you to buy one. So read on to find out why it's currently so difficult to get your mitts on an Apple Watch.
Back at the beginning of March, Apple told the world that the Apple Watch would be hitting the shops on April 24, today, with prices starting at £299 and getting towards a mind blowing £14000 ($18000 USD). And while that's technically the case, with the Watch popping up in six designer boutiques spread over London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Berlin, it's a lot more difficult getting hold of Apple's latest gadget if you live somewhere slightly less salubrious.
Before you start furiously knocking on the doors of Apple Stores up and down the country, begging for the must-have wearable, it's worth considering the fact the Apple Watch is unlike anything else Apple has previously sold. It's not just a piece of tech, it's no longer about what the Watch can do, but this time Apple is hinging its success on the Watch being fashionable, selling on its looks and desirability. The Apple Watch is a whole new ballgame for the company, and as it’s something more personal, it needs to take a different approach - and of course, Apple doesn’t know what the demand is going to be like, so taking a limited approach makes more sense.
Just look at the people Cupertino brought in when designing the Apple Watch, with ex-Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and ex-Nike designer Ben Shaffer lured to Apple, and the company has been since driving interest in the Watch by making sure it's seen on the wrists of the influential and famous, including fashion designer Karl Largerfeld, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams. Make no mistake, Apple really wants people to lust after its Watch, and part of that means making it trickier to get hold of one.
And let's face it, if you spend money on a fashion accessory, the last thing you want to see is everybody in the room wearing the same thing. You want to stand out, you want to feel special, and that means Apple needs to carefully control how many Watches are out there - at least for starters.
So while you can buy the Apple Watch if you ring up and make a reservation at one of the top six fashion boutiques, it'll certainly be a while before you can hand over cash and take one away from a regular Apple Store, or even other designer shops like Selfridges. The limited approach is certainly more likely to appeal to fashionistas, and it's a world away from seeing thousands of people queue round the block for regular Apple gadgets - there's nothing cool about desperately queuing up, right?Of course, there are other ways you can get hold of an Apple Watch - and rather than battering down the doors of Apple Stores, Cupertino would much prefer you to pre-order its wearable. The first batch of Watches reportedly sold out in hours, but it's only a matter of time before you can get your hands on a Watch from the next batch. This is actually a far more pragmatic approach from Apple, with batches making it a lot easier to judge demand.
And with people buying the Watch either online or in specific fashion boutiques, it means there will be more time to make sure you get the right fit if you do go and try one on - something that's more important than ever, particularly if you're splashing out for the mega-pricey Apple Watch Edition.
The limited approach certainly helps to make the Watch feel more special if you do get your hands on one, but can you imagine pre-ordering and waiting, or heading to a dedicated boutique, or is it simply a step too far?