Apple Watch: Shortages expected, but you can pre-order Friday
This time, you can't camp outside an Apple Store to be the first to buy
Apple Inc said on Thursday it expected the "tremendous interest" in its new smartwatch to result in demand outstripping supply when the gadget starts shipping on April 24.
Apple said it would take orders for the watch exclusively online during the initial launch period — you won't be able to camp outside an Apple Store to be among the first to buy it.
Starting tomorrow in Canada and several other countries, customers will be able to preorder the watch online and in-store. They will also be able to visit an Apple Store to preview the watch.
In Canada, the Apple Watch Sport will start at $449 for the smaller, 38-mm model. The standard version will start at $699 and the high-end "Edition" watch will be priced from $13,000.
Based on a survey in the United States on consumer interest in buying the Apple Watch, BMO Capital Markets has cut its estimate for sales to 39 million units though September 2016. Previously, the analysts had estimated sales of 55.5 million units. About 735 people responded to the survey.
The watch, the first new product to be launched by Apple under Chief Executive Tim Cook, has been given poor marks by reviewers for its relatively low battery life and slow-loading apps.
Apple is among several companies, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Sony Corp, that are jumping into the nascent market for wearable devices.
The watch, when paired with an iPhone, allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls.
There is also an app that helps people monitor their health, for example by tracking heartbeats and footsteps.
"We believe in the next five years, the watch will revolutionize the way we interact with objects around us," Oppenheimer analysts wrote a note on Thursday.
Apple shares were up 0.3 per cent at $125.98 US in early trading on Thursday.