Apple to launch Watch quietly tomorrow, fearing short queues
Cupertino’s low-key debut for wearable signals doubts about demand, say analysts
Apple will dispense with its customary fanfare as it launches its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, tomorrow, Reuters reported.
The low-key debut could signal doubts over the reception for the device among consumers, following negative early reviews decrying short battery life and slow-performing apps.
Apple Stores will not be able to sell the Watch tomorrow, but some luxury goods retailers around the world will reportedly have the wrist-wear in stock.
Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster, suggested Apple may have feared short queues at its stores as it launches its first new category since Tim Cook became CEO.
"The smaller launch can allow them to see how it goes and it does remove some of the line expectation and risk," Munster said. "If they did it the old way and the lines weren't good, that's a bit of a problem."
There are 38 Apple Watch variants, carrying different screen sizes, styles and bands, from the Sport version, which starts at $349, to the gold Edition, which ranges from $10,000 to $17,000.
Pricing and launch-date information for the UAE is not yet available, but retailers here have previously said the Watch will be available through grey-market imports for those willing to pay a premium, which could run as high as $150 on top of US prices.