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Shop different: What's a new product launch without lines around the Apple Store?

Michael Simon | April 27, 2015
There was a time when Apple launches didn't light up headlines around the web. When the original iPod was released back in November of 2001, for example, the only people lining up were at Apple Stores in Littleton, Colorado, and Newport Beach, California--and most of them weren't looking to fork over $399 for an mp3 player. They just wanted one of the free grand-opening T-shirts.

Apple is betting big on Apple Watch as a transformative product, but while the iPhone inspired legions of knock-offs, Apple wants its watch to be one-of-a-kind, something that can't easily be imitated. It's why the company hasn't announced preorder numbers, and why celebrities have been spotted wearing them before preorders have shipped.

Ahrendts doesn't just know how to strengthen a brand, she knows how to build exclusivity, and hordes of people queuing are unbecoming of a company catering to people who can afford to strap $17,000 on their wrists. Camping out and waiting in line for the latest products may be ingrained into the fabric of Apple's fan culture, but a horde of unkempt people isn't something Ahrendts wants to associate with Apple Watch.

And I suspect it won't be very long before Apple Stores are relegated to mere showrooms. When it's time to buy the iPhone 10 or the Apple Watch 3, Apple will surely have perfected its ordering system to the point where the model I choose will be be delivered in an instant with little more than tap of the screen on my wrist.

And the only waiting I'll be doing is for delivery truck.


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