The Apple Watch, which went up for preorders on April 10, became available for purchase globally on Friday. Unlike that of other Apple products, the debut turned out to be a low-key affair, at least in Japan, according to Reuters.
Apple Watch gathers few buyers
Just a few tech savvy users were seen standing in a queue outside the Apple store in Tokyo instead of the crazy flocks of people usually waiting when new iPhones arrive. According to Reuters, only around 50 people could be seen waiting to buy the wrist-wear from an electronic store named Bic Camera in the Ginza district of Tokyo, while at the nearby Apple Store, it was business as usual.
One of the buyers in the queue was a 40-year old IT worker named Chiu Long from Taiwan. Long is a die-hard fan of Apple products and told Reuters that he makes the purchase every time the company introduces something new. He appreciated the heart rate reader introduced by the company as he is fond of running.
Difficult to estimate demand
Buyers can get the device from selected stores chosen by Apple. Initially, it is available at some of the high-end boutiques and department stores. In a bid to establish the gadget as a fashion accessory, stores selected by Apple include the Corner in Berlin, Maxfield in Los Angeles and Dover Street Market in Tokyo and London.
To avoid huge gatherings in front of the stores, Apple did not make the watch available at Apple stores on Friday. Instead, Apple is encouraging people to make online purchases from the company’s site. This way, it will be able to keep Apple lovers from flocking over to Apple stores like they did in the past for iPads and iPhones.
Such an unexpectedly low turnout makes it difficult to correctly estimate whether or not the wearable is a hit among consumers. Apple has yet to come out with any figures hinting at demand for the watch, therefore, due to the lack of information, Wall Street estimates for the watch very widely. However, the company did say before that demand is expected to exceed supply at product launch.