Starting April 10, potential customers will be able to try on the Apple Watch in Apple retail stores with help from trained staff members. If you like what you see, you will be able to pre-order your device right then and we have a walkthrough of the various ways to place pre-orders for the Apple Watch. MacRumors has obtained a copy of some internal training documents for Apple Watch try-on appointments and we also have some more detailed insight on what you can expect when you visit an Apple Store beginning April 10.
Before we talk about what to expect at your try-on appointment, it's important to note that you do not need to attend a try-on session in order to pre-order an Apple Watch. If you so choose, you can order one online as soon as they are available for purchase, or walk into an Apple retail store and tell a staff member what you want to pre-order without having to try it on first. Pre-orders made in store and online will ship to your home. In-store purchases will be available through reservations following the Apple Watch's April 24 launch date.
There are two ways to try on the Apple Watch. You can make an appointment or you can walk into an Apple Store without an appointment and hope the employees can fit you in for a try-on session. It's likely demand for try-on appointments will be high in the days after April 10, so we recommend making an appointment before heading off to your local Apple Store.
Before Your Appointment
Based on the training document, when you make your appointment to try on Apple Watch, you will specify a line (aluminum, steel, or gold) that you want to try on, although you will be able to try models from multiple lines at your appointment. If you have already saved your favorite models to the Apple retail store app or Apple online store on your iOS device, this information will be used to help guide your appointment. We do not have specific steps for the actual appointment making process, but it will likely be similar to making a Genius Bar appointment.
When you arrive at an Apple Retail Store location, if you made an appointment, you will check in with an employee and head over to the "Red Zone" to wait for your try-on appointment to begin. If you're walking in without an appointment, an employee will give you a specific time when an appointment will become available and you'll get an SMS notification when it's your turn to check in and try on the Apple Watch.
Around this time, you may notice (if you haven't already) the display table, which will house different models of the Apple Watch under glass with special lighting. It gives you a chance to see several options before moving forward. There is also an Apple Watch Demo display, which should be mounted to the wall near the display table. It is designed to provide you with an interactive demonstration of the features of Apple Watch. It houses an Apple Watch that is mounted to an acrylic stand with a screen next to it. When you interact with the Apple Watch, the larger screen shows off the technology and development that goes into each feature.
Trying on the Apple Watch
When your specialist contacts you, he or she will ask a few questions about your watch needs and what you think is the most interesting aspect of the Apple Watch. Then, you will move over to the Try-On table where you will actually get to try on a variety of Apple Watches to see which one suits you the best. Each table has four to six stations with a drawer on each side, with each one holding 18 watches from the Sport and Apple Watch collection. If your store is not equipped with a Try-On table, you may be provided a Try-On case instead, which is a smaller case with 10 watches inside. The Try-On case is intended for mobility within a store and can be used anywhere.
Customers will be able to try out the features of Apple Watch and try on different models. The try-on models will include a haptic feedback demo loop so you can experience what it feels like.
You can also select accessories, like additional charging cables or different watch bands. However, you will not be able to swap bands on the try-on models to see how a custom combination might work for you.
You will have about 15 minutes to try on watches and make your selection. There is no limit to how many different models you are allowed to try on. However, specialists are directed to generally allow customers to compare only two watches from the drawer at a time in order to minimize confusion at the table.
Apple Watch Edition try-on appointments are slightly different, with customers treated as V.I.P.s. The training document notes that staff should provide a "no-waiting experience to Edition customers." Whenever possible, Edition customers should be taken care of right away. If they have to wait, they are to be prioritized. Edition customers get much longer try-on appointments and can spend an hour or more with the Apple Watch from start to finish. You may not be able to try on the Edition watch as a walk-in customer, but Apple employees will make efforts to accommodate every person interested in the Edition Watch.
Regardless of whether you try on the Apple Watch Sport, stainless steel Apple Watch, or gold Apple Watch Edition, you will be able to pre-order the watch of your choice from the online Apple Store after your appointment with the help of the specialist who walked you through the try-on appointment.
Once Apple Watch Launches
Beginning April 24 when the Apple Watch officially goes on sale, customers who have reserved a model prior to their try-on appointment will be able to purchase their Apple Watch in the store and will be provided with Personal Setup assistance. Staff will help you unbox, fit, pair, and sync Apple Watch to your iPhone. You will also get a rundown of the device’s functions, choose a watch face, and set complications.
To begin, walk-in customers and even those with try-on appointments will not necessarily be able to immediately purchase inventory from the store. You will instead be directed to place an order online for home delivery or make a reservation for in-store pick up.
If a customer with a try-on appointment elects to make a product reservation and the store has stock available, there is a possibility the reservation could be fulfilled quickly, allowing the customer to purchase on the same day. Supplies are expected to be very tight in the early days, however, so expect to have to come back to pick up your order at a later date. Once the early order rush dies down and Apple's supplies stabilize, it should become easier to obtain a watch on a walk-in or same-day basis.
To maximize your chances of getting the model you want at the earliest possible date, make your appointment starting April 10 to try on an Apple Watch and you will be able to check out the different models and decide which one is perfect for you before placing your pre-order.