Friday, 10 April 2015 00:32

Apple Watch pre-orders, in-store previews begin today Featured

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The Apple Watch goes on pre-order sale today from 5.01pm AEST in Australia, with in-store previews Apple’s Australian Stores and others around the world.

Apple is billing its Apple Watch is its ‘most personal device yet’, and is finally going on sale, albeit in ‘pre-order’ form, with deliveries ‘beginning 24 April’.

The whole pre-ordering online thing is something Apple has done for years, but it’s going to be a bigger part of Apple’s push forward, as reported by MacRumors which quoted a leaked email from Angela Ahrendts, Apple's VP of Retail, to Apple Store staff.

Anyone wishing to pre-order can do so from Apple’s site or the Apple Store app, but if you want to try to Apple Watch on in-store, Apple is ‘encouraging’ everyone to make an appointment at Apple’s site here

Apple advises that people with appointments with receive a ‘personalised session with a Specialist to try on, fit and size their band, and explore the amazing features of Apple Watch.’

You’ll be able to Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport or, at select stores, the luxury-priced Apple Watch Edition to find the model with the size, finish and band to best fit your personal preference and style, as Apple puts it.

Apple also says ‘everyone visiting an Apple Store will be able to view all three collections and get hands on with Apple Watch Demo to browse and edit different watch faces, and learn about Apple Watch’s health and fitness features, Digital Touch, Siri and more.’

While pre-order times start at different times in eligible countries depending on time zones, the pre-order time for Australians is 5.01pm AEST.

Anyone that lives in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK or the US can pre-order and can make an appointment to try the Apple Watch on in official Apple Stores, at selected Apple Authorised Resellers in Japan and China, and at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London.

The aforementioned Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores said: “We are excited to welcome customers tomorrow and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet.

“Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.

“To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period.”

If you’re an Apple Watch customer, you’ll receive a ’Personal Setup’ session, online or in-store, to pair your shiny new Apple Watch with your iPhone, which must be an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6 or 6 Plus, running iOS 8.2 or better, with iOS 8.3 released yesterday

Apple says that ‘new owners will also learn how to personalise Apple Watch by selecting a watch face, deciding which notifications to receive, setting up the Activity app, and receive an introduction to the Apple Watch App Store.’

It also looks like buying online is going to be the only way most Apple Watch buyers will be able to pay for an Apple Watch, although the company does say that ‘beginning 24 April, Apple Watch will also be available at boutiques in major cities including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin, and select Apple Authorised Resellers in China and Japan.’

Australia isn’t included in that list, so if you want an Apple Watch - buy it online - it just doesn't look like you'll be able to buy on in store, or at least, not in the first few weeks or months - supply is sure to be tight as is always the case with Apple's newest technologies. 

As previously announced, Apple Watch Sport costs $499 for the silver-coloured aluminium version, and $579 for the black-coloured aluminium version.

The steel Apple Watch model starts at $799 and goes through to $1629, with the luxury-priced gold encased Apple Watch Edition starting from $14,000, and going to about $24,000 according to reports I’ve read.

Apple Watch also received its first round of reviews as we covered yesterday, with News Ltd’s Rod Chester one of the lucky Australian technology journalists on Apple’s list to get Apple gear well before most others in Australia, with his first review here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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