Apple to Close Last Remaining Apple Watch Pop-Up Shop Next Month

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple is set to close its last remaining pop-up shop dedicated to Apple Watch next month. Signs displayed at the Tokyo shop, located in Shinjuku's high-end Isetan department store, were shared on Twitter announcing the closure.

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    The message reads, "This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage."

    The closure of the pop-up shop follows last month's opening of Apple's Shinjuku store, which is situated directly opposite Isetan and offers the full range of Apple products and services, including Apple Watch.

    Japan's pop-up shop is notable for being the first of its kind to open, coinciding with the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015. Apple has only operated three pop-up shops worldwide selling Apple watches and bands. The other two operated out of Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Selfridges in London. Both closed in 2017.

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    The closures appear to be part of Apple's recent strategy of promoting Apple Watch as a health and fitness accessory first and a haute couture fashion detail second. The pop-up shops specialized in selling Apple Watch Edition models, gold versions of which sold for at least $10,000 and up to $17,000 when they hit the market.

    The pop-up shops were essentially outlets for Apple's remaining inventory of 18-karat Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition models, which were discontinued in 2016 and replaced with the ceramic Edition models the company continues to offer online and in-store to this day.

    Article Link: Apple to Close Last Remaining Apple Watch Pop-Up Shop Next Month
     
  2. recoil80 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Apple is promoting the Watch as a fitness device more than a fashion one. I know they sell a lot of bands and personal taste is really important when buying a watch so it is also related to fashion, but it makes little sense to have a little boutique to promote the AW as a luxury item.
     
  3. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    #3
    Aah. Isetan. The kind of place where you can blow 100 quid on a small box of strawberries and feel all sorts of special.
    Figures that Apple, with their increasingly snobby behaviour would’ve found root there.
     
  4. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

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    Please provide a citation for “snobby”.
     
  5. AngerDanger, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    #5
    Eh, "Pop-up shop" is a term that never lived up to expectations anyway…

    Pop-Up Shop.jpg
     
  6. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

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    Just popped-in to say:

    Pop-up implies eventual pop-down after the pop-ulation is satisfied or the item proves generally pop-ular or absolutely un-pop-ular.

    The original Edition watches were more of a perception-smashing marketing gimmick designed to break the snob-appeal of high-end mechanical timepieces.

    Given that an Apple Watch does all the functions, except being like jewelry, that high end watches do, the Edition was necessary to move people beyond the aesthetic hang-up they would have against a black screen and something akin to Geek Wear. The gold Edition served this purpose and Apple Watch has cemented its place at nearly the top of the Watch industry.

    So no great surprise that the pop-up are popping-down now as their customers can buy through conventional channels now. And if the ultra-spenders don’t replace, but go back to Swiss watches? No big deal because they are a rarified slice of the overall market, a market that Apple now is #2 in (within 3 years of entry.)
     
  7. simonmet, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    #7
    Where are those gold Apple watches now? How many did they sell and are they even still functional? It was a ridiculous product; a limited lifespan that will be made obsolete and impossible to be serviced or repaired within a decade. Anybody who bought one has rocks for brains! I can think of many beautiful mechanical watches I’d love to have for that kind of money that can be serviced for generations.

    First edition Apple products are nearly always very poor.
     
  8. Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

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    However, when the Apple Watch first launched, it was promoted heavily as a fashion statement, especially given they launched an 18 karat gold Apple Watch starting at $10,000. Most of the marketing towards the Apple Watch when it first launched was also geared towards being a fashion statement, however; since the transition with the heart rate sensor inrovements, swimming features, and even the most current marketing is focused on health related features. So it’s making a transition from where first started, which I believe likely for the Series 4 we will see additional health sensors and more health oriented applications, and eventually glucose monitoring, which the future the Apple Watch will rely on health advancements.
     
  9. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    See my note immediately previous to yours.

    Please note you are viewing the durability question like a dude that buys a Watch and expects it to last indefinitely. That approach never exactly existed at the narrow top slice of the market (Patek Phillipe ad copy aside).

    Folks with high disposable income buy watches like they buy shoes (not quite as frequently, but you get the idea.).

    Folks at the large bottom slice of the market buy functional disposable devices.
     
  10. recoil80 macrumors 68020

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    I think they wanted to market it as a fashion item at the beginning but they didn't sell enough edition models and found out it was easier to promote it as a fitness device.
     
  11. CJM macrumors 65816

    CJM

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    I couldn't believe the marketing strategy for the original Apple Watch as a fashion accessory. I really think that was the pinnacle of the recent climb in Apple snobbery. Apple has always been about making cool products that look good, but the primary focus has been to improve people's lives in some way. The cool, fashionable aspect has always just been a given - a byproduct of thoughtful design - and hasn't needed to be forced on buyers, like the watch's marketing in 2015.

    The shift to fitness first, and then the watch being an emblem of athleticism and therefore coolness, is much more effective.
     
  12. simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    #12
    Are you saying mechanical/automatic watches aren’t serviceable and repairable? If not then what’s your point again?

    Any decent watchmaker can service a decent mechanical watch that’s decades old. The question becomes one of whether it’s worth it relative to the overal value and quality of the product. At a certain point this might become a diminishing prospect as the service cost increases with time, but in no way would it be the case for a $10,000 watch within Apple’s service period before it becomes obsolete. Mechanical watches do require maintenance every couple of years and I never claimed otherwise. The difference is, this maintenance can still be performed after a 5-7 year period for a price that is still well worth it compared to buying a replacement $10,000 watch. At no point would a $10,000 mechanical watch become obsolete within a decade unless it was completely trashed by the owner.

    So I’m still failing to see your argument and I stand by my claim that a $10,000 Apple Watch was a completely ridiculous product.

     
  13. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    MacRumors left out the most interesting nugget in the whole story, imo. From 9to5Mac article: "Earlier this week, Apple held a fire sale for the Apple Watch Edition on the Isetan website, where remaining inventory quickly sold out. The 38mm model was offered for 75,600 yen (just over $700 USD.) Upon its debut in 2015, the Apple Watch Edition was priced from $10,000 to $17,000, depending on the model."
     
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

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    The Edition models with 18 karat gold were for the 1% that Apple knew hardly anyone would be purchasing, they just wanted to make a statement about it. I think they wanted the Apple Watch to gain as much notoriety is it could by introducing it as a fashion device, but yet have fitness capabilities attached. Now the transition is reversing where the Watch has been more oriented towards a fitness device first, and a fashion device being second. They wanted the Apple Watch to catch on as quickly as it could, but ultimately the end goal is not for the watch to be a fashion device, it’s to be more health oriented and a convenience factor with notifications.
     
  15. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    Earliest records date back somewhere after the departure of John Browett and the hiring of Angela Ahrendts. Not to put too fine a point on it.
     
  16. Mildredop macrumors 68020

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    Weren't they something stupid like $10,000?

    Edit - Ignore my question:

    Even $700 is too much.
     
  17. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

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    Browett? That idiot? Only thing Apple proved by that hire is they didn’t get lousy candidates enough to find out they were lousy.

    What has Ahrendts done that is snobby? Sure she filled a slot to help Apple launch the Edition into the Fashion world. This was essential to overcome negative geek chic, but as mainline store management she seems to have done fine.

    It seems you have a tree felling tool that you are trying to sharpen.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2018 ---
    Because the innerds are 2015 era is the reason for the discount.
     
  18. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    This is funny. A depreciation from $10,000 to $700 isn't because of the innards. The gold alone is supposed to be worth more than that. That type of depreciation indicates no one wanted the watch even at 90% off.
     
  19. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000

    chucker23n1

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    #19
    The original marketing for Apple Watch didn't work out in two ways (that may or may not boil down to the same reason):

    1. they overestimated demand of a luxury fashion item that needs replacing every few years. (I'm still using the Series 0, but realistically, you can't get much more than ~3 years out of it, if only for battery reasons.) They may have been able to work around that by promising later upgrades or reduced-cost replacements from day one, but they didn't. You're expected to buy a new one.
    2. the UI in watchOS 1 clearly had quite a different vision/focus. They were apparently hoping for fairly broad applications, and it turns out that most non-fitness features didn't pan out at all. For this one, maybe it's a matter of the product being ahead of its time, much like the Apple Newton was. It's conceivable that, a decade from now, we'll have advanced in several respects (such as battery life) to the point where more features currently occupied by the phone can take place entirely on the watch.
    As a result, the Watch became less valuable in general, both hardware- and software-wise. Luckily, they managed to pivot to a more fitness-oriented device and become the market leader that way, but selling that as a luxury item is nigh-impossible.

    Re-branding stores as "town squares" is somewhat snobby and, IMHO, hasn't quite worked out the way she wanted.
     
  20. japanime macrumors 68000

    japanime

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    #20
    Isetan provides a very nice — and yes, special — shopping experience. The sales staff are gracious and helpful, and customers are never pressured into making a purchase.
     
  21. Shaun, UK Suspended

    Shaun, UK

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    #21
    I wish they would stop focusing on health/fitness/fashion and make a thin/lightweight watch everyone can use.
     
  22. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #22
    You mean to say that folks willing to drop $10,000 on an Apple Watch didn’t want to buy it in a mall kiosk next to the pocked face kids selling crappy scarves and stupid girocopters?

    Weird.
     
  23. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The Watch is no longer a new product, hell the smart watch fad is pretty dead altogether - it's even a little odd they waited this long to shut these down.
     
  24. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #24
    Yeah, Apple only sold 8 MILLION of them last quarter with 10% year over year growth. :rolleyes:

    Apple sold more than 17 million in 2017 with the next closest competitor being Samsung at 3.5 million.

    I think what you meant to say was that ANDROID smart watch fad is dead.
     
  25. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I said smart watch fad, which is broader than Apple - yes Android smart watches are pretty non-existant at this point.

    I didn't say anything about the Watch being a failure, so calm down already.
     

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