back to article Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

Apple has slapped some restrictions on early-bird madcap punters who want to part with hard-earned cash for a fancy wrist-job – they must shop only on white unicorns, bring virgin £50 notes and rap their order. Alright, so the channel bully boy isn’t being quite as prescriptive with those that want to buy an Apple Watch, but a …

  1. mdava

    This largely explains

    why I don't own any apple products.

    My last experience at an Apple store (to try to arrange to fix, then replace, my son's ipod) ended with the worker ant I was speaking to saying that he would "Make an appointment for you to see someone to buy this."

    It's an mp3 player. Give me the f*cking box and point me at the till. Uppity tw*ts.

    1. daemonoid

      Re: This largely explains

      Have you tried buying something at a nespresso store?

      I thought I'd pick up a few boxes in person given that the minimum order for free delivery is about €80 and there's a 'store' on the way home. Never, ever, again... the grinning cult members were terrifying and insisted I joined a club before I could buy anything.

      Why must shopping be an event?

      1. mdava

        Re: This largely explains

        Amusingly, I am also a Nespresso customer.

        One of the counter staff was most put out when I said "I'm not interested in joining anything, I just want to buy this coffee." although she did then sell it to me.

        1. dan1980

          Re: This largely explains

          It's all part of a marketing and branding strategy to try and transform a pedestrian commodity item into some kind of exclusive club. I suspect the idea, beyond making new buyers see it as fancier and thus more desirable, is to build brand loyalty in existing customers.

          Of course that makes more sense for Nespresso, where it is a repeat purchase so they want to make sure you use their capsules rather than generic or refill ones or swap to a different maker, but it's not so strange for Apple either as they want you to keep buying the new models and new products - they want you to stay a 'Mac person'.

          Also, I suppose if something takes more effort, people can be skewed to view the result as better than if it was easy in the same way that happens when something is more expensive. People don't want to feel that they have wasted their time and money so they don't want to admit - to themselves as much as anyone else - that they were a bit foolish. or were a sucker.

          Don't get me wrong - Apple make some good products. They have a design aesthetic that appeals to many people and their hardware and software is actually pretty good. They aren't always first with features - even simple ones like copy/paste - but they have understood that a good user experience is based on more than just bullet-point features.

          I am at this point reminded of the fantastic mock iPod product video from an MS staffer.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: This largely explains

      You just tap one of the cultists on the shoulder and they whip out their iPhone and charge your card. Even easier if you use your iTunes account. No queuing, no bullshit. Receipt gets emailed to you, you just walk off with you iDevice or whatever.

      There is no step three, remember?

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Gimp

    Lightbulb moment

    Of course! Apple are progressively becoming more arcane and cult like in order to achieve the status of a bone fide religion.

    For tax purposes.

  3. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Of course

    One does not simply walk into Mordor

    1. magickmark
      Alien

      Re: Of course

      We wants it, we needs it. Must have the preciousssssssss

  4. Mr C
    Joke

    One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

    There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, the Apple store is located in Mordor. Duh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

      it used to be the case that no sensible techno-person would ever buy Version 1.0 of anything Apple....

      we always waited for at least one revision cycle...

      but they usually got there in the end

      1. Admiral Grace Hopper

        Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

        "it used to be the case that no sensible techno-person would ever buy Version 1.0 of anything Apple...."

        This also applied to version 2.0 of anything MicroSoft. They twigged this and released Win NT at version 3.0 to try to fool the punters that the Customer Beta versions had been and gone.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

          Windows 3.11 on DOS 6.22 is one of the best OS I have used. Windows 7 is a close second. Actually plug and play puts it over the line by a nose.

          1. bpfh Bronze badge

            Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

            Then again, when you upgraded from a 486 DX2 66 to a Cyrix P166+ you really noticed a massive speed boost after typing in C:\>win ....

            You don't really see that much of a difference when going from a Pentium M 1.7 to a 2.6Ghz Core 2 duo...

            1. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

              And having to turn the turbo button off so wing commander was playable.

    2. kmac499

      Re: One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

      As the article says you ride in on a White Unicorn.

      Why ?

      All other colours of Unicorn fail the Ive's design standards...

      But I suspect Apple is willing to lower its standards on the method of payment.

  5. eSeM

    Apple launches a new product .... no idiot queues at the stores ...... the product is seen as a dead duck and uncool.

    Are Apple trying to circumvent this scenario?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've heard it all before, said it all before, and we were wrong then. I think I'll pass on placing a bet this time and watch the forever flame war that rumbles pointlessly on.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Trollface

      They're obviously missing out on all the free publicity about the lines for days before the release and the mad queue trying in the door. But, this maybe this is intentional since El Reg covers these events also? Hmm....

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      >Are Apple trying to circumvent this scenario?

      That was my thought.

      Making sure the first purchasers are true believers.

      I'm not sure Jobs would have allowed a device that comes with so little magic.

  6. ThomH Silver badge

    So that's two reasons

    ... two reasons why I won't be strolling into an Apple shop and buying a watch.

    And for El Reg's audience I think that still leaves me on the low side.

  7. returnmyjedi

    I'm slightly bilious after going to the Apple website and noticing that you rather than clicking to watch their keynotes, you click to "experience" them. How very bell-endulous of them.

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      bell-endulous

      phrase of the week? and it's only Monday.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re:

      Nice films though, aren't they? I could almost see the point...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once walked in to an Apple store because my iPhone was extremely hot, the display was black and it wouldn't respond to a reset.

    I was told to make an appointment - the next available one was in two days time.

    I said I was unhappy to take the iPhone with me as I felt it was a fire risk and I couldn't turn it off. They wouldn't let me leave it there. So I asked for something in writing to say my phone was so hot you couldn't touch the back and that I was sent away with it ---- after a few mins a 'genius' fixed it. But what a hassle!

  9. John Bond

    Lazy facts

    Rather than just parrot someone else's poorly written article, why not check and report on the sales process properly - including the differences that apply pre- and post-launch?

    It seems to me that Apple is approaching the watch launch from a customer-focused perspective. Perish the thought that they should help people to buy once and buy right!

    Resources:

    http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/03/09Apple-Watch-Available-in-Nine-Countries-on-April-24.html

    http://9to5mac.com/2015/03/29/apple-store-revamp-for-apple-watch-revealed-magical-tables-demo-loops-sales-process/

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Lazy facts

      you must be new here.

      using common sense in reference to an article about Crapple is a sure file way to attract downvotes.

      1. Frank Bough

        Re: Lazy facts

        Who cares? Is someone with a large collection of hand-painted Orc models keeping a spreadsheet?

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Lazy facts

      It seems to me that Apple is approaching the watch launch from a customer-focused perspective.

      I'm pretty certain the customer would like to have their watch as soon as possible, and show it off on their wrist as they walk out of the store.

      I rather assume that with all the possible options, between the size and band, they cannot provide enough stock to avoid having the light blue and pink models the only left in the store after two hours.

      Apple doesn't usually have so many different versions of what they sell, and they are in general very careful about unintended consequences. The resulting atmosphere of unattainability surrounding the watch might well be considered an additional bonus.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Lazy facts

        I'm pretty certain the customer would like to have their watch as soon as possible, and show it off on their wrist as they walk out of the store.

        and into the arms of the muggers waiting outside for the suckers to emerge inside from the store hoping that their own RDF will protect them.

  10. JP19

    "Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?"

    If you want to buy an Apple watch then yes you probably are.

  11. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Meh

    Colour me uninterested ...

    one of the upsides of a free-market economy is you don't *have* to engage if you don't want to.

    My first thought on the article headline and subsequent content was "demand creation" ... Apple may have billions of these [canine] testicular timepieces in the wings. But hint at rationing, and you will guarantee the media frenzy (and associated upsales) of black-Friday style mania ensues.

    I wonder if Apple are taking any steps to prevent speculative re-sales ? Presumably the iWatch will need to be connected to an iTunes account ? And only Apple will allow a change ?

  12. Velv Silver badge
    Coat

    iVac

    With Apple branching it's technology's to new consumer areas I'm just waiting for the iVac. Should be the only Apple product that doesn't suck

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: iVac

      "waiting for the iVac. Should be the only Apple product that doesn't suck"

      Damn, I remember when this was a Microsoft joke!

  13. Mr.Mischief

    Appointments..

    Similar to my experience with the Apple store.

    Wife had an iPhone with a dying battery. We go to the store, it isn't terribly busy so we try to approach the counter. iPlod blocks our way with an iPad in hand saying we need to make an appointment to see someone. Ok.. so we ask, when is the next appointment.

    "4:30"pm.

    Wife looks at her watch. It's 4:30. Shrugs her shoulders while he makes the appointment.

    You may now proceed to the counter.

    Uppity twats.

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not sensible

    "it used to be the case that no sensible techno-person would ever buy Version 1.0 of anything Apple...."

    Apple fanbois are not sensible techno-people.

    1. Frank Bough

      Re: Not sensible

      ...and I thank God for it every day. I don't have to spend my spare time roleplay gaming!

  15. Ivan Headache

    Selfridges

    By sheer fluke I was in Oxford Street on Saturday (I know., I know)

    Several (possibly 4 or 5) windows at Selfridges were completely black - except for a large white Apple logo and a date for the Watch.

    Are Apple opening a specialist watch shop in the store?

    1. KroSha

      Re: Selfridges

      There's a reseller in the tech area in the basement.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You want difficult?

    Just try buying a brand new Rolex steel Daytona from an official Rolex stockist. Current waiting list is 1yr+. Like the Daytona, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue sells for more nearly new than actually new, as Rolex stockists aren't allowed to sell above list price.

    Compared to this, the Apple Watch sounds quite easy. Not that I want one.

    1. Michael Thibault
      Big Brother

      Re: You want difficult?

      You are being difficult. You are upsetting a common world-view--one with which many here are exceedingly comfortable. A permanent reference to this subversive activity has been added to your file. The data you've supplied is deemed irrelevant.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: You want difficult?

      Have Rolex managed to build a watch that can keep time yet?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You want difficult?

        @Frank Bough: no idea, I'm still waiting for mine. See above.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: You want difficult?

        A watch collector and specialist I know has a Rolex that keeps good time. It's a fake he bought as such in Italy and has an Eterna movement in it, or: "A far better movement than bloody Rolex ever fitted" as he put it.

  17. John Tserkezis

    Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

    Perhaps they're vetting their customers, ensuring just the rabid fanboys are the ones who get to review it.

    It won't work: Clearly they don't understand how the Internet works.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because of El Reg's 'special' relationship with Apple, I presume you lucky journalists are getting your FondleWatches delivered on a silk cushion by a naked and oiled Tim Cook himself? No queues for you.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, the whole, exclusive, premium service is basically... click n collect, sort of, like Tesco and Argos.

  20. tin 2

    This is - as a possibly ex-fanboi - exactly why I DON'T have anything newer than an iphone 4S. I walked into the store to buy a 5S on a complete impulse, because I was passing, and they refused to sell me one, without aforementioned unicorn, £50s and spitting mad lyrics.

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