The watch impressions

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by puma1552, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    Just went to my local Apple store here in the Twin Cities suburbs.

    Store was busy, but not overwhelmingly so.

    I mainly went to look at the rMB, which there was absolutely nobody looking at those. I played with that for a bit, then wandered over to the watch table.

    First I'll give my impressions of the actual watch, then the store setup and new retail model.

    Watch Itself:

    The watch, unsurprisingly, is nicer in person than expected. It wasn't as thick as it looked online, and the footprint was a little smaller, though I think for me at 5'5" tall, I'd still want the 38 mm version.

    However, while I say the watch is nicer in person than expected, that may be misleading - I found the sport to look very cheap whether in space gray or silver, and I found the edition to look very average and no classier/fancier than the stainless models, maybe even slightly less so, but I find gold to be tacky; there was almost no distinction between the yellow gold and the rose gold as well.

    The watches that looked the best IMO were the regular line, the stainless models, etc. Didn't care for the link bracelet, but found myself instantly attracted to the stainless watch with milanese loop. So I think the regular line is the sweet spot. But unfortunately, since we know this is a Rev. 1 product, we also know that next year it will be half as thick with twice the battery life, so it would be hard for me to sink $1k on that watch. The sport is probably the better option in the meantime, if you can live with the look. I think the watch will be a fantastic product in 3-4 years, and I'm sure I'll cave in and buy one then.

    New Retail Model:

    With Angela at the helm, I noticed things in the store are a bit different now.

    I was surprised how much space in the store was more or less wasted for watch try ons - in fact I didn't even see the 15" rMBP anymore, not that I looked at every table but it clearly must've been shoved in a corner somewhere.

    They had one or two (one I think) glass display tables to look at, 3-4 try on tables, and then another few tables with the demo unit stations you could play with a little bit. Basically 2/3 of the major Apple product space (non accessories) was for the watch, most of it not being utilized at all.

    There was one guy at the display table to answer questions, and directing people to buy online. I didn't ask to try one on, but it seemed ridiculous to me that I would need to make an appointment to try it on when there were plenty of employees and try on stations not being utilized. I did hear one guy ask to know about the features of the watch and he was just directed to the website, which was asinine since they easily could've accommodated a try on for him on the spot, or at least told him about some of the features. At one point I was the only guy at the watch table (besides the Apple employee), and I was never asked if I had questions or anything. Same thing happened at the rMB table. Generally I like being left alone, but I kind of wondered if this was part of the "just direct them to the website if they have questions, so don't ask if they have questions since you'll just direct them to the website anyway" mentality.

    In general I just find it a little absurd to have people come into the store, then require appointments for try-ons when there is plenty of availability as a walk-in. Further still I find it absurd to just direct people online to purchase things. Maybe this will change when they have the products in stock, but from Angela's email it doesn't really seem like it, seems like they are trying to make a paradigm shift in the way Apple sells its products. Maybe this is why there was hardly anyone looking at either the rMB or the watch.

    Maybe Angela isn't a good fit, because she's used to high end fashion and boutique stores where the affluent would never bother schlepping it with society in a line for a product, but that's part of what Apple is, scalpers or not. The only thing I think Apple really needs an overhaul of from a retail perspective is a billion dollar remodel of all its stores to get rid of the same outdated look they've had for 15 years. Time to give the stores a full overhaul with a black/steel/glass modern industrial feel IMO.
     
  2. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #2
    I agree with you on the messed up in store system. It's so odd that I have to make an appointment online first, and I can't buy during that time. I knew all of this of course because I read MR, but if my Mom walked into the store wanting to try a watch on and they told her she had to make an appointment, she'd probably just say forget it.

    Not sure I agree on a full redesign of the store with black/steel and glass. Apple's stores feel friendly now. They shouldn't feel cold and unwelcoming.
     
  3. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    #3
    The waiting in line policy probably got out of hand. Guessing:

    1. The malls, shopping centers, and neighboring shops complained about the crowds of people clogging up the area all day long.

    2. Safety was an issue. There have been increased fights at recent releases.

    3. Scalpers were undesirable, and profited off of Apple.

    4. Security guards cost a lot of money to staff at every store.
     
  4. matty.p macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I think retail is getting used to it all a bit. I do like the visual and clothing changes. At least with my store even without an appt you could do a try on as long as there was staff to do it. Did you actually ask or just assume you couldn't see the watches ?
     
  5. DC Wallaby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #5
    I walked into one Apple Store yesterday and was offered a Watch try-on almost immediately. Offered. (I had one scheduled for later that night, so I just got it over with and canceled the later one.)

    Today, at a different Apple Store, my father was offered an appointment (with a five-minute wait) without any difficulty. He wasn't even planning to try one on. I just insisted he go play with one of the demo models because they're cool.

    So it's not like they aren't making room for walk-ins. It's just a system in place to make the walk-ins more manageable and serving the customers who take the time to plan ahead first. I don't think it's an ideal system, but I understand the reasons for it and it hasn't exactly had any serious impact on either of the Apple Stores my family has visited this weekend.
     
  6. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    1. I don't think the rev 2 would be much thinner and significantly longer battery life. I think we are still many years away.

    2. I don't feel retail employees were even trying to sell me anything. And I know more about the Watch than any of them from reading this forum and doing my own research online.
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    Something to remember is that when Apple first opened the stores, they were a much smaller company with a narrower product line. They had a hard time getting into other stores, and so launched them as a way to showcase their products, provide support, and sell product. Today is a different story. Apple has plenty of distribution channels, and online sales are more common than before.

    It sounds like Apple is de-emphasizing in-store sales in an attempt to re-focus on the first two objectives (showcasing and support). It is a change in mind-set, and will rub some people the wrong way, especially those who got to know the old system pretty well and picked up products on launch dates. Given Tim Cook's media interviews where he has said that it was obvious that he and Ahrendts shared the same views on the future of retail, it seems clear to me that Cook is on board and may be driving some of this himself. While the stores have been a great success, Apple seems to be evolving into a model that they hope will shore up their customer service ratings and address some of the negatives that the chaotic product launches of the past have led to. Did they get it perfect this time? No, but it did run fairly smoothly considering that they must have had very limited inventory and high demand. Long lines on 4/24 would have just meant long lines of unhappy people walking away empty-handed. This way, people have some idea when their products will arrive.
     
  8. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #8
    I did not ask, since I'm not planning on buying; I'm basing this on the experience of the other guy who wanted to know about the features and was just told to go to the website.

    That's great though if they are making room for walk-ins in some stores.
     
  9. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    #9
    Battery tech is a problem for everybody. So far it has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Apple and Tesla seem to be the leaders in the field, so they are the best bets to make significant strides.

    As to thickness, it really isn't that thick in person and doesn't feel thicker than other watches when you wear it. Any thinner and you'd have to lose the crown.

    When I went to my try on appt, the guy asked me if I'd already ordered one and I lied (because I read about some blue shirts rushing the appointments when people said they already ordered). He let me try on whatever I wanted multiple times and there was no pressure at all. He even let me walk away without asking if I wanted to order. No pressure for sure, but he wasn't being a very good salesman.
     
  10. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10

    Yeah. It's like the case of iPhone, I would be happier it didn't get thinner but the extra space is used for battery.... But then people have suggested thinner iPhone and get a battery case if longer batter us needed... Like a battery bracelet of case could be suggested for the watch lol.
     
  11. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #11
    I agree with this. I also think there's nothing wrong with trying something different and tweaking it along the way. I'm sure Ahrendts is getting plenty of feedback and data on what went well, what didn't and the process will be adjusted accordingly.

    I will say though these product delays aren't doing Apple any favors. Take the new MacBook for example. From what I'm seeing on this site and elsewhere it could be an impulse buy. People who were on the fence or not really interested changed their mind once they saw it in the store. Yet some stores didn't even have one on display and if you go online to order delivery of all models is 4-6 weeks out. How many impulse buys is that killing? When Apple launches a new product it should be on display in all stores and when you go to order it there shouldn't be a 4-6 week delay. All that tells me is Apple is announcing products before they're ready which is not a good thing.
     
  12. shorestyle macrumors member

    shorestyle

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #12
    Went to my local apple store today, made an appt for a fitting. Tried the watch on at 230pm (only had to wait an hour)

    My initial reaction was oh sweet its shiny (tried the stainless steal 42mm on)

    After the initial cool factor I realized how janky and weird the UI is. It's very very first gen. Also it's kind of heavy on my wrist. The screen is nice but it could be better.

    Final thoughts is that i'm just gonna wait for google to release android wear for iOS and pick up the new moto 360 or the Asus Zen watch.
     

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