Everything You Need to Know About Buying an Apple Watch
With only a few days until Apple Watch preorders begin, and just a couple of weeks until its official release, the biggest question in Apple Land seems to be: "Are you going to get an Apple Watch?"
Probably the biggest concern that most of you are wrestling with is its price. With three different models, two different case sizes, and plenty of bands to choose from, an Apple Watch will cost you anywhere from $349 for the entry-level Watch Sport to $17,000 for the 18-karat rose gold Watch Edition.
If you've got your funds squared away, you're good to go. If not, maybe you can ask a friend that works at an Apple Store to buy you one; employees will receive a 50% discount on both the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport for 90 days after its release.
As for availability, you won't be able to purchase an Apple Watch in stores—at least not for the moment. Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Apple Retail, sent memos to Apple Stores for staff to encourage customers to purchase online due to a limited inventory (and to prevent lines outside).
So now that pricing and availability is out of the way, we're going to show you everything else you need to know before you decide on purchasing an Apple Watch—and what you'll need to do to preorder one before its release.
Since the Apple Watch is a companion device, you'll need to make sure that you meet certain requirements before you go out and purchase it outright, namely that you have the following.
- iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, or 6 Plus
- Running iOS 8.2 with the Apple Watch app installed
If you're good here, you just need to figure out which Apple Watch you're going to buy.
Depending on your preference and budget, you've got three models to choose from: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.
- $349 for 38mm band
- $399 for 42mm band
- $549 - $1,049 for 38mm band
- $599 - $1,099 for 42mm band
- $10,000 and up
We've got an in-depth breakdown of the prices for all three options, as well as the build of each one (aluminum, metal, or gold) and the sort of bands that come with each model. Definitely check that out to learn more about how much you're going to spend on the model Apple Watch you want.
Starting April 10th, at 12:01 a.m. PDT, Apple will start taking preorders for the Apple Watch, as well as reservations to try the watch on at any local Apple Store.
If you've decided on a Watch, buy it. If you haven't, or are uncomfortable spending so much money without seeing and feeling one in person, you should absolutely make an appointment to try it on at an Apple Store. You can try walking into the store and waiting in line to try one on, but that could take hours, if they even have time for you. Appointments are priority.
Each appointment will last 15 minutes, unless you're thinking about purchasing the Apple Watch Edition—your interest in spending $10-17,000 will garner you an appointment that will last up to 2 hours.
You can begin scheduling appointments on April 10th on Apple's website.
If getting out of bed to line up outside an Apple Store just isn't your thing, there are three alternative ways to try on an Apple Watch from the comfort of your own home.
Directly through the Apple Store app, you can get appropriately sized dimensions of both the 38 mm and 42 mm models of the Apple Watch on your iPhone's screen.
Just go to Featured -> View Pricing and select "Compare case sizes" to view them. You can place the phone near your wrist, but it's probably not the greatest way to compare sizes of the watch on your arm.
A better alternative is to use our Apple Watch cutouts, which you can actually print out on your own to try on. Coming in both 38 mm and 42 mm sizes, you can grab the PDF from here and get a better grasp of which watch size is best for you.
Finally, you can use augmented-reality to try on both sizes of the Apple Watch on your wrist. All you need to do is download and print out this PDF, download the ARWatch app, and point your camera at the cutout on your wrist.
Unfortunately, Apple revoked the certificates needed to download ARWatch online (since it was banned from the iOS App Store), so now the only way to use it is by installing it on an Android device from the Google Play Store (oh, the irony). Either way, you can check out how it works in the video below.
Now that you know which Watch you want, it's best to get your preorder ready for April 10th. Through the Apple Store app, you can favorite the Apple Watch you want so that it's in your shopping cart when you're ready to purchase it.
Go to Shop -> Apple Watch, find the watch you want, then hit "View Pricing" and favorite it by tapping on the heart icon in the top right. You can favorite more than one variation, which will place them in Accounts -> Favorites for comparison.
As of now, side-by-side comparisons are unavailable, but they should be live when the preorder starts at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. EDT) on Friday, April 10th, 2015.
It seems that all Apple Watch models come with a band when you preorder, but if you don't really like the band you settled on, you can get a third-party customizable band for it right now. Apple does have additional bands to choose from, but they range from $49 to $449.
By using Cassetify, you can create your own Apple Watch band using the pictures on your Instagram account for only $50. Use the in-site editor to place one or multiple pictures across the band, as well as change the picture to a stamp, then add a filter to your final product.
As for actually playing with the Apple Watch, you'll either get to do that at the in-store appointment or when you finally receive yours after purchasing one. But for now, check out some of Apple's Guided Tour videos below.
As for us, you can bet that we'll have an Apple Watch on the day of its release. We'll get some videos up for you guys to explore the Watch through our eyes, showing off all the awesome features and hidden tips you'll want to know about. Hopefully, we'll even be able to show off a few hacks.