Apple Watch can now be reserved for in-store purchase

Customers in the US, UK and elsewhere will no longer be restricted to ordering the watch online.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

You can now buy an Apple Watch at an Apple Store as long as you make an online reservation first. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple Watch buyers will now be able to reserve the wearable device and pick it up at a local Apple Store.

On Wednesday, Apple's new Reserve and Pick Up service opened for business at Apple online stores in the US, UK, Australia and all other countries where the watch is currently available. The new service lets you reserve a specific model of the watch and then head over to an Apple Store at a certain time where you can try out and then purchase it. You can select a specific watch model online and then choose your location to see if it's available. The pricey Apple Watch Edition is popping up only in specific locations, while the less-expensive Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch models are more ubiquitous.

The Reserve and Pick Up service marks the first time you can pick up an Apple Watch in-store. Until now, you could only order the watch online, either by working with a sales rep at your local Apple Store or by simply going to the Apple website and ordering it on your own, and then having it shipped to your home. The new policy appears to be a sign that supply is starting to even out with demand. But this also seems to have been part of Apple's strategy all along. An alleged internal memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts leaked in April said she expected the Apple Watch online order-only system to continue through May.

The new service does require a reservation. So you can't just stroll into any Apple Store at any time and expect to walk out with an Apple Watch around your wrist. But such a stroll is likely to be the next step. In a June 4 press release, Apple said that it had plans to begin selling certain models at its stores.

"We're also making great progress with the backlog of Apple Watch orders, and we thank our customers for their patience," Apple said in its press release. "All orders placed through May, with the sole exception of Apple Watch 42 mm Space Black Stainless Steel with Space Black Link Bracelet, will ship to customers within two weeks. At that time, we'll also begin selling some models in our Apple Retail Stores."

So exactly how does the in-store reservation system work?

  • Surf to the Apple Store website for your country, click the link at the top for Watch and then select the Buy Now button.
  • Among the three different editions, choose the watch you wish to purchase. Each watch comes in several different models. Click the Select button for the model that interests you.
  • At the bottom of the watch's description, you should now see a couple of lines that read: "Interested in buying in-store? Check reservation availability." Click the link to Check reservation availability.
  • Click the dropdown box that says: Select a store. In the US, you first have to select your state and then select your store. Apple will tell you if that particular model is in stock at the store and indicate the next available time that you can reserve and pick up the watch.
  • Sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Next you'll have to request and verify a registration code. Type your phone number and the registration code that you receive and then click Continue.
  • Select a time that you wish to pick up the watch and type your name, email address and phone number.
  • Click the Confirm Reservation button to seal the deal. Then just show up at your local Apple Store at the chosen hour to check out and purchase your watch. And don't worry if you change your mind. You're not required to purchase the watch even though you reserved it.

The Apple Watch is currently available both online and in retail stores in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan. Starting June 26, the watch will be sold in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.

(Via 9to5Mac)