(Reuters) – The Apple Watch launched globally on Friday with a small queue of Japanese tech-addicts lining up in Tokyo for Apple Inc’s first wearable gadget, but there was no sign of the excitement usually attached to the company’s product rollouts.
Buyers can take the smartwatch home from a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores, including The Corner in Berlin, Maxfield in Los Angeles and Dover Street Market in Tokyo and London, which Apple courted to help position the watch as a fashion item.
But the gadget will not be sold at Apple stores on Friday. The company is directing people to order online instead, which should prevent the long lines of Apple devotees who typically flock to iPhone and iPad launches.
About 50 people lined up to buy the watch at electronic store Bic Camera in Tokyo’s Ginza district, while at the nearby Apple Store it was like any other Friday, according to Reuters reporters at the shops.
“I buy one or two Apple products every time they release something new,” Chiu Long, a 40-year-old IT worker from Taiwan, told Reuters while queuing up at Bic Camera.
“I like to run, so the heart rate reader is a progress,” he added.
At a retail outlet of mobile carrier SoftBank Corp around 20 people queued to get their hands on the gadget.
“I want to develop my own application that’s compatible with the smartwatch,” 27-year-old IT worker Tatsuya Omori said as he waited in line outside the store… see more