The Apple Watch is (finally, almost) here. Beginning April 10, anyone can view the device in Apple Stores and order one online. The pricey wearable won't ship until April 24, but the preorders are seeing enough demand that delivery times are slipping rapidly.
If you want an Apple Watch before summer, you'd better act quickly.
Apple began accepting preorders online at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time.
The company is selling three basic models -- Apple Watch, Watch Sport, and Watch Edition -- in two sizes and a variety of colors and band styles. The Sport model is the cheapest, and costs $349 for the 38mm size and $399 for the 42-mm size. According to Apple's website, demand was strong enough for the entry-level model to push shipping times overnight from April 24 all the way out to June.
The Apple Watch starts at $549, and runs all the way up to $1,099 for select models. Most models are showing shipping times of four to six weeks, but the high-end versions with stainless steel bands won't ship until July.
Yeah, you read that correctly: July.
The same goes for the luxury Watch Edition. Despite the price tags that range from $10,000 to $17,000, the Watch Edition won't ship until June or July, depending on the band.
Anyone looking for an Apple Watch with a delivery date of April 24 is flat out of luck. It's still viewable in stores, however, and consumers can pine away over the luxury wearable in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US. Apple is encouraging people to make appointments, so don't expect to walk in and simply touch one.
[Read about Apple Watch apps.]
"We are excited to welcome customers and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet," Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores, wrote in a statement. "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 favorite 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."
Is the Apple Watch worth all the hype? Early reviews of the smartwatch were mixed.
Most reviewers said it is the best smartwatch yet, with the caveat that smartwatches haven't really taken off as a category. It does a lot, but is sometimes slow. The battery barely lasts all day, and third-party apps aren't yet plentiful enough to enjoy.
If you're an Android user, feel free to order one of the half-dozen different Android Wear smartwatches from Google any time. Prices range from $150 to $350, and shipping times are generally only a couple of days.
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