You can now try on an Apple Watch at an Apple Store without reserving a time. Apple
Interested in an Apple Watch? You can now stroll into an Apple Store and slap one on your wrist without an appointment, according to 9to5Mac.
Since the smartwatch was released in April, potential buyers have been required to set up an appointment to try on an Apple Watch. The process required you to go online to make a reservation at your local Apple Store, where you’d then walk in at the appointed hour, share your name and other contact info with a sales rep, talk to the rep about the watch and actually try it on.
Now, Apple has altered the process, 9to5Mac said late Monday, based on information from Apple Retail employees. As of this week, you can take that stroll into an Apple Store without a reservation, sit down with a rep, and try on different models of the watch. Presumably, you can then buy the watch of your choice, assuming it’s in stock. Further, customers no longer have to provide contact information to the sales rep, 9to5Mac noted.
The new process sounds like Apple’s latest attempt to simplify the process of buying a watch in an attempt to lure more customers. The initial process of obtaining an Apple Watch was slow and awkward; you not only had to make a reservation to check one out but then you still had to order the watch online. As supply has started to meet demand, Apple has opened up the buying process to make it quicker and more streamlined.
The new process also conjures up the question of how Apple Watch sales are faring.
Apple has not provided actual sales figures for its wearable, leading to speculation as to whether sales are good, bad or somewhere in between. In July, 27 analysts polled by Fortune predicted sales for the second quarter at 4.1 million units on average, with the lowest estimate at 2.85 million and the highest at 5.7 million. On a conference call with analysts discussing the most recent quarter’s results, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that “sales of the Watch did exceed my expectations, despite supply trailing demand at the end of the quarter.” Apple Watch sales certainly may have been hurt by a lack of sufficient supply. But the unwieldy reservation and ordering process may have toned down sales as well.
Those of you who walk into an Apple Store should now be able to try on a watch without delay, 9to5Mac said, unless, of course, all the designated smartwatch areas are already taken by customers ahead of you. You can still share your email address and the model Apple Watches that interest you with a store rep. The benefit here is that your preferences can be saved to the wish list in your Apple Online Store account.
The Apple Watch is available in three versions: the entry-level Sport version starting at $349, the Apple Watch starting at $549 and the Apple Watch Edition starting at $10,000. Given that range, the watch competes against a variety of products — other smartwatches, fitness and activity bands, and even high-priced luxury watches.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.