Apple Retail Stores drop appointment-only system for Apple Watch

“Just over four months since the Apple Watch began its Apple Retail Store debut for try-ons, Apple has started to tweak the process this week, according to Apple Retail employees,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“Until this week, a customer who walked into an Apple Store seeking to try on Apple Watch was required to make an appointment and provide details such as their name and Apple ID to an Apple Store employees,” Gurman reports. “For this week forward, Apple Stores are speeding up the try-on process by dropping the former appointment requirement and not requiring potential customers to share their information with the store employee.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, it’s now a first-come, first serve deal for walk-in customers interested in Apple Watch.

In a related tidbit, we’ve heard from sources in positions to know that the Apple Watch rollout fiasco has “negatively impacted” the company’s expectations. Apple Watch works best when your friends and family also have them. So that users can send doodles, heartbeats, tap wrists, etc. Our sources say:

• “Early adopters felt – and continue to feel – like they’re alone on an technological island… Having an Apple Watch is still like having a messaging app that nobody else has.”
• “There weren’t nearly enough Apple Watches available for too long a period of time… Launch momentum was squandered.”
• “Apple really screwed the pooch with this launch. Hopefully, the near-total lack of supply, which endured for months, hasn’t squelched an excellent product.”
• “Huge demand. No supply. Now Apple has huge supply and muted demand that they caused by launching with no supply.”

Rumors abound that a last-minute issue with Taptic Engines forced Apple to launch with an almost total lack of Apple Watch supply. The whole convoluted online-only, then online reservation-only for Apple Store try-ons (from which users had to then, again, order online), was a result of launching without anything resembling an adequate supply. One of our sources claims that nearly every Apple Watch unit sold to date was assembled after pre-orders were taken on April 10th.


    1. Regardless, Apple had raging momentum for Apple Watch. Then they doused it with no supply. How much have they set themselves back?

      Would the company have survived if Cook waited to unveil Apple Watch at WWDC in June and launched it this September? You know, like a smart CEO would have done? Not one distracted by artificially inducing “diversity,” “global warming,” and prodding employees to march in Gay parades.

      Cook did the same thing with iMacs a few Christmases ago. The one quarter where Macs did not outgrow the PC industry occurred because of that. And he later said that he regretting announcing it with no supply on hand. Cook didn’t learn his lesson. He repeated his iMac failure with Apple Watch.

      1. You make a lot of assumptions and I don’t buy your argument.

        First of all Cook is CEO with zillions of people working for him. It’s not possible for him to be across the detail everywhere and, as all large companies discover, there is a limited supply of really great people so Appe has been sucking in the also-rank for some years now – not at the top probably, but all through the ranks.

        Also, Apple is conservative in relation to their supply channel – they err on the side of scarcity rather than Having Samsung’s problem of excess
        Inventory which has to be sold at fire sale prices. For a new product line like this it would be virtually impossible to accurately gauge demand. So Apple were cautious, and remain so.

        Apple watch is not going to be a huge contributor to the bottom line any time soon – so Apple can afford to let it find its own level.

        On balance I think it’s not ready for prime time. It’s too clunky, doesn’t do enough and it goes against such the trend to abandon watches.

        I don’t think the launch damaged interest – it’s just a niche product. It will sell better when it is half as thick.

        One lesson I hope apple have learned is that plain styling in a bulky package with a plastic band does not mean “style” to an educated clientele. And making a version in gold and charging a huge price for what will be a fishing weight in 2 years time is really very bad taste. People who buy “labels” might buy a gold Apple watch. People who have style buy products which don’t have visible labels, and they don’t buy watches with plastic bands.

  1. There seems to be a general lack of excitement about the watch. No one I know is really talking about it or desire it. Also the screen size is too small. They should have a 44mm option. Also would be cool if they made all the functionality of the watch into a band that would attach to nice Swiss watches. That way Apple would be working with the watch industry and not against them. Curious how native apps in the Fall will affect watch sales.

  2. My daughter recently attended an Apple camp in Atlanta (Lenox) which required me to linger around in the store for between 11:00am and 12:30pm. The store was very busy during this time and I witnessed many sales of iPhones, MacBooks and iMacs. It struck me that few people looked at the central Awatch display or tried one of the 4 demo models. I think I saw only 2 people who tried on a Awatch.

  3. I think watchOS 2 will help revive WATCH interest momentum. I disagree that the launch was botched. Given the Taptic Engine flaw that wasn’t discovered til February, I think they did a great diffusion job. I ordered my 42mm Space Gray WATCH SPORT minutes after midnight April 10 and received it Tuesday April 28 – only 4 days after deliveries started. I also think that WATCH is not something very well understood by the general populace yet. The concept of a Wrist Computer is still foreign to most people’s thinking. If momentum was dampened by supply problems, word of mouth continues to evolve among all WATCH owners. watchOS 2 will bump up the interest and acceptance among followers this fall holiday shopping season.

    A case can still be made that everyone who buys this year’s model is an Early Adopter. Diffusion of WATCH needs to be viewed in long term chronology. Remember how many of us didn’t buy the first iPhone? I didn’t. And I’m as crazy an iOS Fanatic as it gets. So the iPhone was a new kind of cell phone. But WATCH is not really a new kind of watch – it’s an unprecedented new kind of computer. Few people get this yet. So I think we all need to take a breath and relax about whether or not it’s going to succeed. Fact is it already has. Probably 5 million in the wild by now and we’re still just getting started.⌚️😱💥😃😘😍👀📱

  4. 3 new Apple Watch owners here! No appointments required… Me and my hubby had decided to wait for v2 since we didn’t know anybody with one and we felt it was a bit expensive. But 10 days ago, one of our friends was visiting and went shopping. He came back from the Montreal Apple Store with a black Sport Apple Watch, buying as a walk-in with no appointment, even then. We were so charmed when we tried it on that we decided to go to the same store, no appointment, and bought one each for our birthdays, 1 black Sport (super light and looks great!) and 1 Stainless Steel with milanese loop (very classy to meet clients). To our surprise, some models were not available but our choices were in stock. We are now 3 people in our circle with Apple Watches… Yeah! BTW, the Watch-dedicated Apple Store employee that was in-store on a monday night, was just amazing. Try one on and you’ll be hooked. We just love it!!!

  5. At this point I’m waiting for V2. I wanted the first watch , but refused to order online then go into the store. Angelas first bad idea. I can’t wait to see what her next blunder will be. Doing that cost them business and they know it now. People want to walk in ,buy it and leave. That was one of Apples stupidest ideas .It definitely hurt sales of the watch

    1. I doubt that. If they’re going to forgo the purchase because they can’t get instant gratification, they’re unlikely to be committed to the WATCH lifestyle changes it delivers. So now that all the supply bottlenecks seem to be cleared up after only less than 4 months, dabblers can visit again to take the instant gratification plunge any time.💥⌚️😱😜

  6. Someone mentioned that no one is really talking about the apple watch. I LOVE mine but found that most of my friends haven’t noticed it. If they do, I tell them all about it, let them try it on and they usually then want one. I’m glad that it doesn’t stand out. That’s part of the beauty of it, the watch doesn’t scream, “hey look at me!” The only thing that is hard to describe is how personal it is, just like the iPad.

  7. What would the MDN Take be if Apple decided at some point in the lead up to the launch, to delay the launch for 30-60 days or more to build up inventory.. I suspect the screwed up launch screed would still be showing up..

    1. Do you mean that gay people like to shoot their loads on their feet? In my experience that’s not common practice. Or was the capitalisation of the word “Foot” relevant in a way that I have misunderstood? Perhaps you mean that being gay somehow leads to a predisposition to want to fail? Or maybe you’re just a homophobic troll?

  8. Yes, the launched was screwed up. But MDN’s whining about it ad nauseam, under guise of its “take” to a story here in August, is getting really old. Yes, the botch flattened the numbers to some degree (the “analysts” can weigh in on that one). However, the Watch’s success now through the holiday season, and in the future, will be determined on the relative merits, not by what happened at launch.

  9. Yeah, maybe… But maybe it’s just too thick and too clunky and ships with a plastic band. That might be considered stylish in the ‘hoods across the U.S. but actually if it’s not ugly, it’s certainly very plain.

    Apple should not get too pleased with itself in relation to industrial design. Sure, by U.S. standards Apple stands out. But people should remember that companies like Bang & Olufsen have been making gorgeous products for decades.

    Sometimes I think Americans really need to get out more…

  10. I bought my Apple Watch on Saturday 8 August. I called my local Apple Store and got connected to the Irish call centre (I’m in the UK) to check whether the store had the watch I wanted in stock. I also asked whether I needed an appointment because I couldn’t find the option to book one in the app. Ireland connected me to the local store and the guy I spoke to said no appointment was necessary. Went to the store later that day, said I wanted to try on an Apple Watch and had a great consultation about the best size for my wrist, what I might use it for, tried on several bands etc. I bought it and I love it. In the UK at least, it seems like you haven’t needed an appointment for at least the last 10 days.

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