Carphone Warehouse, Britain’s biggest smartphone retailer, has confirmed that it has been denied a chance to sell the Apple Watch ahead of its big debut next month, suggesting the long-awaited wearable will be available directly from Apple only.
We’ve long wondered whether Apple would give its retail partners the chance to sell Apple Watch. Like the iPod, it’s a relatively affordable device that’s likely to become incredibly popular, so making it available to a larger number of consumers through a larger number of retailers seems to make sense — even if it just offered the more affordable Sport model.
But as many suspected, it seems you’ll have to visit Apple.com or one of the Cupertino company’s own retail locations to get your hands on its first smartwatch.
“We would love to be able to stock the Apple Watch,” Carphone Warehouse CEO Graham Stapleton told The Telegraph. “I’ve got to be careful what I say but I think they are just going another way with it. We have not been given the opportunity.”
Apple Watch will be available in large shopping centers and malls, and through major department stores. Locations in Selfridges in London, the Isetan department store in Tokyo, and Galeries Lafayette in Paris have already been confirmed.
However, Watches will be sold by official Apple Watch shops rather than third-parties.
This situation could change later on. While there’s a good reason why Apple might want to sell the midrange Apple Watch and Watch Edition directly, allowing customers to select the right size and strap before they buy, there’s no reason why the Watch Sport — which comes with two straps to suit all wrist sizes — couldn’t be sold through retailers like Best Buy once initial demand for the device has died down a bit.
But for the foreseeable future, at least, it seems you’ll be buying from Apple directly when you adopt a Watch.