Will Apple finally develop the device that ignites the fledgling smartwatch market?
Pre-orders for that Apple Watch started early Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET.
Within a scenario familiar to past eager buyers of new iPhones and iPads, the Apple Store was offline as Apple prepped its online shop for what it expects to be heavy interest.
Prices with the watches start at $349, and climb all the way up around $17,000. Three models can be obtained: Watch Sport, the normal Apple Watch as well as the higher-priced Apple Watch Edition.
Analysts predict the smartwatch will help breathe new life into the growing market. IDC forecasts smart wearables will top 25.7 million in 2010, in excess of five times just how much compared with a year ago.
"It will likely be quite successful, which is as Apple always does: They rarely lead in a field. They watch how things develop, then enter it and go on it over. They've done that repeatedly, from computers to music players etc," said Scott Tilley, a professor and director of computing education with the Florida Institute of Technology.
The reviews from tech journalists who reached check out the Apple Watch before it was distributed around consumers were largely positive, particularly in comparison with other smart watches in existence. However the reviewers worried about the training curve, a hurdle Apple seemed to address within a group of video advertisements released over the past weekend that included easy methods to swing, swipe and tap it to have a response.
Apple, essentially the most savvy consumer marketers on earth, has turned sales launches into entertainment spectacles. Devoted buyers regularly align all night, sometimes overnight, when new iPhones and iPad hit store shelves.
This launch may just be a tad different, however.
Consumers might possibly put on the Apple Watch in stores Friday — if they have been able to make a consultation for any session that has a specialist or are visiting an outlet that's not too busy.
Nonetheless they defintely won't be competent to purchase one until April 24, and on condition that they've reserved one online.
Apple says that online interest already indicates a sellout.
"Depending on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, along with the number of customers who've arrived at the Apple Website to mark a common Apple Watch in front of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch," said Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior V.P. of retail and on the internet stores, inside a release Thursday.