The Apple Watch is Here!
This is the big day that Apple fanboyz and luxury loving status seekers have been waiting for—the Apple Watch officially hits stores today. OK, it actually hits about five ultra exclusive boutiques worldwide but some of those who placed their orders early on April 10 are getting their smartwatches today. This is a very different sort of launch for Apple since there are no long lines camped out overnight in front of the company’s mall stores.
In Tokyo an estimated 50 people lined up to purchase the Apple Watch at Bic Camera in the Ginza district. It’s a safe bet that some of those who bought their watches at the very first Apple Watch retailer to open on April 24 are among the greedy sellers hawking their prizes on eBay.
As of early Friday morning, there were more than 30 sellers offering Apple Watches on the auction site, all of them at vastly inflated prices. One Australian vendor had a 42mm stainless Apple Watch with Milanese Loop bracelet and a retail price of $1,099 listed for $2,999.
Here in the U.S., the paparazzi are sure to be on watch outside the Maxfield boutique on trendy Melrose Ave., the one and only place in the country to stock the Apple Watch on opening day. The Maxfield site touts the Apple Watch with the message: “We’ve handpicked a range of models to help you find a look to complement your own.” Those handpicked models look more upscale than a bunch of Sport versions with neon colored plastic bands. While it’s true that this is laid-back L.A. and the store doesn’t open until 11 a.m., there’s sure to be plenty of press hanging around all day in hopes of finding a story.
So this may be Apple’s most low-key launch ever and one expert thinks he knows the reason. “The smaller launch can allow them to see how it goes and it does remove some of the line expectations and risk,” Wall Street analyst Gene Munster told Reuters. “If they did it the old way and the lines weren’t good, that’s a bit of a problem.”