Amid widespread confusion, the Apple Watch is officially launching tomorrow. Apple tested out a new method of ordering for its debut smartwatch, eschewing the iconic queueing outside its stores in favour of pre-orders and try-on sessions prior to the actual launch of the device. It has not gone as planned, however.
Though sales have been strong, consumers have been left bewildered about the availability of the device, with retail chief Angela Ahrendts acknowledging that employees have been “bombarded with questions” — and promising that this wasn’t the end of Apple’s “blockbuster” launches, despite a prior memo suggesting otherwise.
Even after Friday, the device isn’t available to actually buy in Apple Stores: For the foreseeable future, it will be online order only. And many people who have pre-ordered the device have been told they may be waiting months for it to arrive (though some of the delivery dates are now changing).
But now to make matters that bit more confusing, the New York Times is reporting that you will be able to buy the Apple Watch in store tomorrow — just not from the Apple Store themselves. The paper reports seven “official” stockists of the Apple Watch that it says will have the device in store this Friday:
- Dover Street Market, London
- Dover Street Market, Tokyo
- Maxfield, Los Angeles
- Colette, Paris
- The Corner, Berlin
The Times’ story also included 10 Corso Como in Italy, but 9to5Mac is reporting that Italian-language tech blog HDBlog was contacted by Apple to say that 10 Corso Como will not stock the device on launch. Dover Street Market, however, has confirmed to the New York Times that it will have 920 Watches in stock — 350 in Tokyo and 570 in Japan.
Dover Street Market CEO Adrian Joffe anticipates a rapid sell-out of the Apple Watch, saying that “judging by the calls, I don’t think it will last long.”
In a memo leaked to Business Insider earlier this month, Angela Ahrendts declared that “the days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers.” But if Joffe’s predictions are correct, it doesn’t look like they are over just yet.