Apple Watch launches

Apple WatchApple Watch is coming, but don’t expect long queues of people waiting to snare a limited supply of the new devices.

Friday is the official launch day for the new smartwatch, but Apple – which opened pre-orders on April 10 – is taking a different approach than it has for the iPhone and iPad, which traditionally draw huge crowds to its retail stores for product launches.

Apple has confirmed “there will not be people walking into stores on Friday coming out with Apple Watch. Everything will be online.”

The stores have been allowing people to get a look at and touch the new Apple Watch, which is expected to instantly become the market leader.

Some people who ordered online will begin receiving the watches on Friday, but many will have to wait.

Apple, which has been advertising the new wearable tech device for weeks, is likely to get the watch out gradually over the coming weeks.

“They just don’t have the inventory to support lots of people coming into stores now and buying it,” said Stephen Baker, an analyst with NPD Group.

Baker noted that Apple is also concerned about how consumers will respond to a new product category.

“If they did it the normal way where millions of people wind up and just grab it, they’re worried about usability, they’re worried about returns, they’re worried about customer satisfaction,” he told AFP.

The crunch is likely to continue into June, when supply may catch up to demand, enabling people to buy in stores.



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