National / International News
The much-awaited Apple Watch was finally available for a preview on Friday. Customers could try on the smartwatch in Apple stores in nine countries, including the U.S., China and Japan.
As expected, people made appointments and lined up at Apple’s flagship store in Manhattan—the one on fifth avenue where you walk into a glass cube and down a spiral staircase to reach the store. What was the scene like?
“It was pretty subdued,” said Meg Cramer, producer at Marketplace Tech, who also made an appointment to check out the Apple Watch on the very first day. "There was a line of maybe a dozen people out front waiting to get in. Everyone had made an appointment already.”
What was unexpected was how they were greeted as they walked down the staircase. “This is the weirdest part,” said Cramer. “There were like a 100 apple store employees cheering and clapping.”
The applause continued until the store was full. They were cheering, Cramer suggested, because these customers had been waiting for the Apple Watch for a long time.
“I think if you’re there for the very first appointment on the very first day, you already know more about the Apple Watch than any Apple store employee could tell you,” said Cramer.
Some of the visitors had already pre-ordered the Watch, meaning they had woken up at 3 am to make the appointment just so they could go to the store and try on the smartwatch. Kelvin Hall was one of the lucky few to nab an appointment.
“It definitely does look like something you would wear on your wrist anyway,” said Hall. “I am sure it will take me a little while to get used to using it, but I definitely bought into it with my money as well as my fashion.”
People might be surprised at how the Appel Watch actually looks, said Cramer, because most similar wearable devices look like “a mix between a watch and a smartphone.”
“The Apple Watch looks cool, it looks fashionable, and I think it looks better than any other smartwatch out there right now,” added Cramer.
But why would someone want to try it on if they had already decided to buy it?
“It’s just fun to be there,” said Cramer. “I have been following the Apple Watch since the fall, and I am not going to buy one, but I got a little excited holding this piece of technology that one of the most important technology companies in the world has been working on for years and years.”