Apple is now taking reservations for its Apple Watch for in-store pick-up.
After a drawn-out and peculiar launch that somewhat incredibly eschewed in-store sales of the new device, Apple is now letting customers to look online to find out which models are available in their local stores, and to reserve themselves available models. Not all stores have all models, with the smaller ones currently featuring more prominently; but it appears that the overall supply is finally catching up with demand.
The exact reasons for the odd rollout of the smartwatch remain somewhat murky. There have been suggestions that Apple wanted to take a cautious approach, avoiding the blockbuster lineups that usually accompany device launches and instead testing consumers’ appetite for the somewhat novel device. Others have suggested that a hardware defect caused production delays. Whatever the cause, demand has far outstripped supply, which suggests that the device has proven quite popular – good news for Apple and the smartwatch industry as a whole.
The sales arrangement is still a bit strange though. While the reason that Apple is finally allowing online reservations is that the smartwatches are now actually arriving in stores, those reservations are currently the only way to buy the smartwatches; you can’t just walk into a store and ask for one. That will likely be the case until all or most retail stores are sufficiently stocked that there’s little risk of the hardware selling out.