The Apple Watch is set to arrive at Best Buy in August, making it the first store – besides Apple’s own – to offer the smartwatch to consumers since its launch three months ago. The retail giant announced Sunday it’ll start carrying Apple’s smartwatch at 100 of its U.S. stores, as well as at bestbuy.com, from August 7, with a further 200 stores stocking it in time for the holiday season.
Consumers visiting Best Buy stores will be able to choose from the Sport and Watch versions of Apple’s wrist-based device. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the priciest “Edition” version, which starts at $10,000, will stay with the Apple Store. Apple Watch accessories such as watch bands, screen shields, stands, and chargers will also be offered at Best Buy from next month.
The move marks the first big effort by the Cupertino company to widen availability of its debut smartwatch as commentators try to figure out just how popular the device is proving to be with the buying public. Apple decided to lump the watch’s sales figures in with those for its iPod line, Apple TV, and accessories, making it impossible to know exact numbers for the device.
Data from research firm Slice Intelligence in May suggested demand for the Apple Watch dipped significantly in the weeks following the gadget’s launch on April 24, though Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking last week following the release of Apple’s latest quarterly figures, insisted sales have so far “exceeded expectations.” He noted initial sales of the watch were greater than those of both the iPhone and iPad during their early stages of availability.
At launch, the Apple Watch could only be ordered online, though interested consumers could see the watch and try it out at Apple’s retail stores. The company only started offering its smartwatch for sale at its physical retails sites from last month, and even then only at a limited number of locations.
Bringing its wearable to Best Buy gives Apple 300 more potentially lucrative sales spots, and even better, offers consumers the chance to handle it, ask questions, and listen to persuasive sales spiel – important factors considering the wider public’s apparent lack of interest in smartwatches, a situation Apple and other tech firms are determined to change.