You can say many things about the Apple Watch, but you can’t say it doesn’t offer choice.
Not only does the Apple Watch come in two different sizes (38mm and 42mm), there are 6 distinct casing options (aluminum, Space Grey aluminum, Stainless Steel, Space Black Stainless Steel, Gold, and Rose Gold) along with a wide selection of bands.
That being the case, users hoping to walk into their local Apple retail store on April 24th and pick out the exact model they want may want to think twice.
According to a recent report in 9to5Mac, in-store supply of the Apple Watch may be in short supply. After all, it’s not as if Apple yet has a grasp on which models will be the most popular. As a result, it can’t yet calibrate and optimize its supply chain the way it does for the iPhone. Additionally, there has been a report that Apple is experiencing production difficulties with respect to the Apple Watch screen.
All that being said, users interested in an Apple Watch at launch might be better advised to make a reservation.
Due in part to the number of different models, Apple Watch inventory at many Apple Stores in the United States will be heavily constrained at launch, with priority given to reservations, meaning that Apple Watch availability for random walk-in purchases on day one will be noticeably tight.
As one source at a flagship Apple Store said, “we’re told to treat launch day as if there will be no walk-in stock.” That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be absolutely zero Apple Watch units to buy at launch if you don’t have a reservation, just that the specific Apple Watch variant a person wants will be far harder to come by at launch than some previous iPhone models.
If supply issues Apple experienced with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are any indication, getting the Apple Watch model you want may require a whole lot of patience. As anyone who tried to purchase an iPhone last September can attest, getting the model you wanted in the right capacity, color, and carrier was often an exercise in frustration.