Well, there's no going back now. The wonderful world of wearable tech has a new competitor in the field, and it just happens to be the one of the world's most profitable companies. The early trickle of Apple Watches will begin on Friday (hopefully), to much anticipation. So, where can you buy an Apple Watch?
It's a big question, and it's generating a little heat right now from ornery Apple devotees. Here's the situation: Despite initial indications that the Apple Watch would be released in late April, Apple is now saying that high levels of global demand will keep it as an online exclusive for a while, and even in that capacity, supply is rumored to be scarce. In short, while the exact dates aren't clear just yet, but it's going to be a while before you can stroll into a physical store and buy one of these things.
So, what's the best guess? According to a leaked Apple memo, you probably won't be able to buy an Apple Watch in-store until June at the earliest, more than a month from now. This is a particular burden to all of us who have early May birthdays coming up, and love nothing more than a brisk afternoon jaunt to the Apple Store.
The upshot of this is pretty straightforward: If you pre-ordered your Apple Watch online, then you're in business. There's no telling whether the first round of shipments will be entirely on-time, of course — given the apparent supply issues the device's early popularity is causing, and the occasional snafu you can run into whenever shipping times come into play, it probably makes sense to play it a little cool come Friday. But that is indeed the official ship date, and I'm so envious of all of you who'll be getting them then.
Once the retail market finally opens up for these things, of course, you'll be able to pick one up at the usual place — the ever-ubiquitous Apple Store (find a location near you) is always a good place to start. Availability at third-party retailers isn't clear just yet, and given the high level of personal customization inherent to the Apple Watch, it's probably not a bad idea to consult with one of the company's own stores.
But, in all honesty, it's hard not to feel a little bummed out by the delays, so hopefully they'll try to speed things along.
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