If you were planning to wait in line at the Apple Store to pre-order an Apple Watch, you’ll need to rethink your strategy, as Apple has confirmed that you will only be able to pre-order the Apple Watch online.
In a press release, Apple confirmed that you will only be able to come into an Apple Store to try on the Apple Watch and find a size that works for you. You won’t be able to pre-order the device in-store, unfortunately. The company says that this will only be the case during the “initial launch period,” however long that may be, as no timeline was provided.
The reason for online-only orders is that Apple expects “strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.” That’s not too surprising, as many of Apple’s products have seen incredibly high demand on launch day, including the iPhone.
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch will begin on tonight at midnight for those on the west coast (Pacific Time) and 3am for those on the east coast (Eastern Time). This means that if you’re planning to pre-order an Apple Watch, you’ll need to stay up a bit late tonight in order to snag one.
There will be three different models of the Apple Watch with prices starting at $349 for the entry-level Apple Watch Sport, and then the stainless steel Apple Watch starting at $549, with the gold Apple Watch Edition priced at $10,000.
Most buyers will likely aim for the $349 Apple Watch Sport due to the lower price tag, but it will be interesting to see which model becomes the most popular. Apple will certainly have to compete with other smartwatches on the market, especially considering that Android Wear support could be headed to iOS soon.
Apple announced the Apple Watch back in September at its iPhone 6 event and will officially release the device on April 24. The Apple Watch will start at $349, which again, is a bit steep, considering that you can buy a Moto 360 for $249. Because of this, if Android Wear support did come to the iPhone, a price war could be upon us fairly quickly, as some users may go with the cheaper option.
Furthermore, Android Wear smartwatches haven’t been selling too well, so expanding support to iOS will increase Google’s market for Android Wear, and could increase sales with iPhone and iPad users in the mix, considering the popularity of iOS devices.
Google could release an Android Wear iPhone app during its Google I/O conference in May, but it could also play it by ear depending how well initial sales are for the Apple Watch. Google could want to target an Android Wear iPhone app to those iOS users who didn’t initially buy an Apple Watch, either because of the price, or because of the features.
In any case, we’ll have to wait until May for Google I/O to kick off to see what the company plans to do about the relationship between Android Wear and iOS. Google already has a huge foot inside the iOS door, with plenty of apps to go around for iPhone users, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, etc. Adding Android Wear to the mix would certainly be a welcomed addition.