In-Store Pickup Option Coming Soon To Elusive Apple Watch

In an attempt to thwart long lines and possible customer frustration, Apple changed the game when it launched its Apple Watch devices and only made them available to purchase online. In the past, anticipated product launches would see people camped out in line sometimes days ahead of retail availability, and that's an image (and culture) Apple apparently wants to eliminate. However, that doesn't mean you'll never be able to pick up an Apple Watch in a retail store.

If you head over to Apple's website and add an Apple Watch Sport to your virtual cart, you'll see during the checkout process that there's a new in-store pickup option. It's currently grayed out, though should be an option that's "available soon," as it states next to the radio button. We tried the same thing with the higher priced Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models, though both continue to state that in-store pickup is unavailable at this time.

Apple Watch

Apple hasn't made any official announcement, so it's hard to know how much to read into this. For example, this is obviously a sign that an in-store pickup option is coming soon, as literally stated, though it could also be a hint that retail stores will start carrying these wearables alongside Apple's other products. In that case, you'd be able to march into an Apple Store, find an Apple Watch that suits you, and leave with product in hand rather than having to order it online.

That said, Apple still needs to get a handle on supply. Online orders show that Apple Watch devices won't be available to ship until July. It was recently reported that reliability testing uncovered a batch of faulty parts supplied by AAC Technologies Holding Inc. Specifically, Apple found that watches were shipping with bad taptic engines. Luckily Apple has a second supplier for the part that taps your wrist when there's a notification, but it will take some time for production and supply to catch up with demand.