Another reason for the Watch's different buying experience may be to "gate" the expected tight initial supply -- a typical problem for Apple -- said Dawson, who suspects that the reservation-only system will be temporary, with the rules relaxed or restrictions lifted if the device takes off or when supply matches demand.
"Some parts of this model will carry on, I think, but others will not be required longer term," said Dawson.
Apple has dabbed with personalized shopping before, but on much more limited basis: It currently has a $99-per-year program dubbed "One to One," which includes old-to-new Mac data migration and an hour-long one-on-one training session. Apple store personnel will also assist customers in moving their data and apps to a new iPhone free of charge.
Apple will begin taking Watch pre-orders online at 12:01 a.m. PT Friday, April 10, and in its retail stores that same day. The latter requires an appointment.
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