Think your friend is an Apple snob? Now you have tangible proof. Those wanting an Apple Watch are going to need a reservation. The rest of the plebes can just look on as you get behind the velvet rope. No Apple, I don’t need a video on how awesome the velvet rope is and the manufacturing process.
April 24, or launch day for Apple Watch, is fast approaching. Initially, the smartwatch will be available in limited quantity. That means a new retail strategy for Apple. Instead of having the people camp in front of the store, you get to secure an online reservation.
Scarcity. It’s hard to blame them on this launch. You want to see hard numbers rather than be faced with the possibility no one lines up in the rain for a smartwatch.
The reservation plan isn’t just for launch day, either. The plan, for the foreseeable future, is to push people to online reservations to go pick it up at the store. Yeah, you won’t be able to go to the store and just grab a box off the shelf and stroll out.
Limited Apple Watch Supply
There’s two ways of looking at the reservation plan. One, it’s a perfect way to control inventory in a limited supply environment. The Apple Watch also comes with a variety of options. Which model do you want? Straps? Applecare warranties? Plus, Apple employees will have to be hands on with showing customers how to use the device.
Another way is the jaded viewpoint. Wearables have yet to see a stunning success. Why should Apple risk its image when the product could take word of mouth to really get going?
Apple is not going to run the risk of CNBC sending camera crews and finding no lines. Hell, if Elon Musk’s April Fool’s Day joke can send the Tesla algos nuts, what do you think images of no morons camping out in NYC would do?
So far, nothing on Apple’s site regarding watch reservations. Expect that to change soon with this confirmation.
If you strike out on the reservations, there is a possibility for a ‘walk-in’. This is purely for a fitting. You would have to order the Apple Watch model you want for instore pickup or have it shipped to your house.
So, say the watch fits. Apple has it, but won’t sell it to me? Is there haptic feedback for a pissed off customer?
If you don’t want to ‘try before you buy,’ you can still order the Apple Watch off the company’s site on launch day.
The Apple Watch is compelling, but I think I will wait on version two. Battery life is concerning, and you want to see just how far app makers can take the product. In the end, it’s all about extensibility for the product. Not design.