The Apple Watch is nearly here, but won’t be accessible to just anyone dropping into the App Store on a whim. The hotly anticipated wearable will be available – initially at least – exclusively to those who have reserved a particular model online.

The Apple Watch is due to be released on April 24. Two weeks prior to that – this Friday, in fact – the watch will be available for preorder online and for trial in Apple Stores. However, those hoping to form an orderly queue on launch day to try and buy the device are out of luck.

In an attempt to curtail the lengthy queues typically seen on iPhone release days, and to improve the purchasing experience for serious customers, Apple has decided that its latest product is only available for in-store pickup after an online order has been made. This should also help ensure that they always have the right inventory in-stock to avoid disappointing consumers.

Potential customers can still visit the Apple Store to try on the watch – so long as they have the forethought to book in a 15-minute time slot. Technically fittings will be available to all from April 10 but considering the expected popularity of the Apple Watch most customers will be hard-pressed to be seen by an Apple employee without an appointment.

For those who already know the model they want – or who are happy to drop into store for a trial without buying on the same day – online orders can be delivered straight to your home, or taken to the nearest Apple Store for a local pickup.

As we wrote about last week, those interested in the more expensive Apple Watch Edition will be treated to an improved customer service experience.

Ultimately this decision should make for a much quicker and better store experience for those looking to buy the Apple Watch – just don’t forget to book in nice and early to avoid disappointment.

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