The Apple Watch had an unusual launch: online only, and backordered by weeks (if not months) within minutes of midnight pre-orders kicking off. Today Apple announced, though, that its wearable will start showing up in Apple Stores two weeks from now.
That gives the Apple Watch a bigger presence in the US limelight right before Fathers' Day, and also in advance of back-to-school shopping and the start of the pre-holiday shopping season. That late June release slot is also (roughly speaking) the same windows that the first four iPhones launched in.
Apple's release did, however, mention that the Apple Store launch would only include "some models."
Alongside the in-store availability, Apple also announced today that the Watch will launch in seven more countries on June 26. Those include Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan. It appears that there won't be any staggering between online and retail availability in those countries, as there was in the initial launch regions.
In Gizmag's Apple Watch review, we found it to be probably the best smartwatch yet, with a more compact body and good third-party app support – but not by nearly as wide a lead as the iPod, iPhone and iPad enjoyed at their respective launches.
The Apple Watch starts at US$350 for the Sport model, and creeps up as high as $17,000 for the highest-end 18k gold Edition.