The highly anticipated Apple Watch will begin shipping April 24, and Apple is hoping for big returns, even if store visitors do not purchase the pricey new wearable. Analysts expect the Apple Watch to draw many curious customers who want to see exactly what a smartwatch entails and whether it is worth the investment. Developers are also anxious to explore the possibilities of a wearable, and Apple received more than 1,000 Apple Watch apps in just four days last week.
Over 400 Apple stores across the world will start showing the Apple Watch this Friday. This is the first Apple product that requires potential buyers to make an appointment. The styles range from $350 aluminum sport watches to $17,000 limited-edition solid gold watches. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “Apple’s most personal product yet.”
This is Cook’s first big product release as CEO. In a memo to all Apple employees, Cook congratulated them on their hard work and offered a special employee discount of up to 50 percent off the lower-tier Apple Watch models and $550 off the gold Apple Watches, reports Wired.
“We think Apple Watch is going to delight our customers in ways people can’t yet imagine,” wrote Cook. “We want you to share in that experience right alongside them.”
Even if customers do not buy the Apple Watch, Apple could still see a boost in revenue just from the added foot traffic in its stores. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s per store revenue jumped 30 percent when the first iPad launched in 2010. Store visitors weren’t just buying iPads; Apple believes a “halo effect” helped contribute to higher sales of its Mac computers.
Wall Street has a lot riding on Apple’s iPhone, iPod, Beats and Apple Watch. It is expecting Apple’s revenue to rise 24 percent in the current fiscal year, compared to last year’s small 6 percent rise in sales.
Welcome to Apple Watch – Guided Tours (Apple Videos)
Apple Watch Demo Videos Put Potential Buyers Behind The Wheel, TechCrunch, 4/3/15
Angela Ahrendts Has Told Apple Employees ‘A Significant Change in Mindset’ is Coming to the Way the Company Launches Products, Business Insider, 4/7/15
Apple Watch Review: A Day in the Life, The Verge, 4/8/15