Apple is taking a risk in launching its first wearable gadget without the usual fanfare, selling it only in select upscale boutiques. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The Apple watch is here. Pre-ordered ones are arriving in mailboxes around the world. You won't find lines outside Apple stores unlike when iPhones and iPads debuted. You can't buy the watches there - only at a handful of upscale boutiques around the world- where lines were long with enthusiastic fans early Friday. Mashable's Lance Ulanoff: SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The decision to go with those boutiques is important because this is an Apple device unlike any other before. It is a fashion device and it's being sold like that. It's being sold like a high-end fashion device. The selection of boutiques has been so specific. They want people to feel like it's an experiece to buy the watch. Maybe so they value it more. They are certainly going to pay more for it so it makes sense." Consumers can try them on in the Apple store, then order online and have them shipped to their homes. Sources tied to the company's supply chain tell Reuters Apple plans to ship at least 20 million Apple Watches this year- a sign Apple is very optimistic about the prospects for its first wearable offering. A Reuters poll put the number of expected sales at just 15 million for 2015. Ulanoff thinks that will lead to more options for Apple fans. The entry-level watch, the Sport, sells for around $350. That's on top of the required iPhone. SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: I would love to see a $199 model and by the way if this is successful why wouldn't you say a year down the road see a level below the Sport. It's all together possible. It is a strategy Apple has taken before with iPhones and iPads, and those went on to become blockbuster products.