Apple’s ‘appointment only’ Watch strategy is elitist, annoying, and brilliant

appleThe Apple Watch is going to be sold in Apple Stores by appointment only. It’ll introduce a reservation system for people who want to drop into a store to try on the device before buying one. This means if you’re passing an Apple Store and fancy picking up an Apple Watch, there’s a chance you’ll be turned away and told to come back at a more convenient time.

At first glance, it’s the most objectionable, elitist, and almost willfully anti-sales nonsense one expects from Apple — the undisputed master of separating the haves from the have-nots. While it’s all these things, it’s also a tactic brimming with flair and bravado, that could save the Apple Watch from obscurity, and play an essential part in persuading us a smartwatch is worth buying.

How? The world still isn’t convinced by wearables. Samsung, LG, Motorola, and many other companies have released entire ranges of smart this, that, and the other thing. They throw them out the door and stack ’em up on store shelves, without really telling us why we need one at all. Instead, the hope is that we’ll all want the new shiny thing, no questions asked. It’s a risk that’s not really paying off.