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How you’ll buy the Apple Watch

Apple Watch Order

A recent report about Apple Watch availability lends a certain amount of credence to reports that Apple may be experiencing production problems with its new wearable. When the vaunted Apple Watch hits store shelves in late April, it will surprisingly not be available for sale to walk-in customers, according to a recent report.

RELATED: The Apple Watch may cause the biggest halo effect ever

According to documents MacRumors obtained, anyone who wanders into an Apple Store in the hopes of picking up an Apple Watch with no reservation will be sorely disappointed.

Instead customers must make an online “Product Reservation” to hold a specific Apple Watch model at a retail store. This new “Product Reservation” system is used instead of Apple’s “Personal Pickup” system for Apple Watches. Apple’s retail training documents indicate that “If a customer walks in and wants to purchase a watch, offer the option to try on a watch. Then help them place an order online or through the Apple Store app.”

While previous reports indicated that in-store Apple Watch supply would be low for walk-in customers, this is the first we’ve heard that Apple won’t be allowing any walk-in purchases whatsoever.

Apple will reportedly allow walk-in purchases down the line, presumably once the company gets a better grasp on supply and demand. Remember, one of Tim Cook’s claims to fame is that he’s a masterful juggler of inventory. And with the Apple Watch being a completely new product, it’s entirely possible that Apple, even with no production problems to speak of, would keep initial supply low as to better gauge which of the many varying Apple Watch devices are most popular.

The last thing Apple wants is to over-manufacture a particular style that may not resonate with consumers.

With the Apple Watch launch now less than a month away, the bombardment of new Apple Watch details has started to increase. Most recently, we detailed how the Apple Watch can ably function as a running companion device, even with no GPS.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.