Online-only Apple Watch pre-orders begin

10 Apr 20151 Share

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Online pre-orders for the new Apple Watch began today at 12.01am PDT (that’s 7am IST) in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.

Buyers in those countries can try on and experience the new device in stores in their countries but can only pre-order the device online.

The latest form factor from Apple will also be available for preview at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo, Selfridges in London, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in Japan and China.

Apple Watch will be for sale on April 24 at these select department store shop-in-shops, and at boutiques in major cities across the world, including Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin.

The new watch is available in two sizes (38mm and 42mm) and across three editions: Apple Watch Sport (US$349 to US$399); Apple Watch (US$599 to US$1,099; and from US$10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition.

Apple's most personal device yet?

“We are excited to welcome customers tomorrow and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores.

“Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.

“To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period.”

It emerged earlier this week that, in a strategy spearheaded by Ahrendts, Apple is keen to encourage people to order their new Apple products online and collect them in stores rather than forming the queues that have defined previous Apple product launches.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com