Watch this: iPhone on the wrist goes on show in Britain

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IT was not the first company to produce a smartphone but the iPhone established Apple as one of the major players in the market as well as generating massive profts along the way.

The company is looking to repeat the trick again with the Apple Watch which has gone on show to UK customers.

The Apple Watch

The Apple Watch

But visitors to Apple stores, including those in Leeds and Sheffield, will need an appointment before they can try one of the devices.

And those who decide to buy will have to wait at least two weeks before they can show it off as it does not formally go on sale until April 24.

Marketed, in typical Apple fashion, as “our most personal device yet”, the watch allows users to access key functions from their iPhone including calls and messages.

The Apple Watch also boasts new apps in areas including personal fitness to help the wearer improve their health and well-being.

Our most personal device yet

Angela Ahrendts, Apple head of retail

Technology reviewers have largely given the Apple Watch a positive response although consumers have also been warned that, as with previous devices, the company is likely to bring forward a second generation device relatively quickly.

Those desperate to be among the first to wear an Apple Watch will have to part with at least £299 going up to £13,500 for the luxury model.

Analysts have suggested that the technology giant could sell up to 20 million units in 2015 and yesterday shipping dates were already being pushed back due to demand.

Customers visiting the online Apple Store are already being quoted delivery dates in June.

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail and online stores, said: “We are excited to welcome customers and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet.

“Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.

“To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period.”

This marks a noticeable change in approach from the iPhone maker, which is famous for the long queues outside its stores when new products arrive. The new strategy was already taking hold this morning as only a handful of customers were queuing outside the firm’s Covent Garden store before it opened.

Customers will be able to order a Watch while in a store but this will be done through an Apple store employee and via the company’s internal online store.

The 18-carat gold alloy Apple Watch Edition, starting at £8,000, will only be available to try on in selected Apple stores.

The Cupertino company’s first wearable device comes with a Digital Touch feature that enables users to send vibrations to other Watch wearers, as well as transmit their heartbeat to another user also via vibrations. The Watch also tracks movement and contains Apple’s voice-based assistant, Siri, as well as Apple Pay, so it can be used to make contactless payments.


Expert’s view: Should you but an Apple Watch?