Apple Watch expected to be available for purchase within two weeks in retail stores

In the coming weeks, customers all over the world will be able to get their hands on the Apple Watch. Close to two months after making its debut, the Apple Watch will finally be available for purchase at Apple brick-and-mortar retail stores within two weeks.

“The response to Apple Watch has surpassed our expectations in every way, and we are thrilled to bring it to more customers around the world,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations.

“We’re also making great progress with the backlog of Apple Watch orders, and we thank our customers for their patience. All orders placed through May, with the sole exception of Apple Watch 42 mm Space Black Stainless Steel with Space Black Link Bracelet, will ship to customers within two weeks. At that time, we’ll also begin selling some models in our Apple retail stores.”

According to Apple’s online store, customers who try to buy that model today will have to wait five to six weeks for it to be shipped.

In addition, starting June 26, Apple said that the smartwatch will launch in seven more countries, including Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan.

The Apple Watch is Apple’s first product into the wearables space. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5 or later to run basic apps and receive notifications. While the the 18-karat gold edition smartwatch is top priced at $17,000 with the most modest Apple Watch Sport with price starting at $349.

The Apple Watch was first announced in September 2014, and the device went on sale in April in a handful of countries, which included the UK and the U.S. Among other markets, it is also now available in France, China, Germany and Hong Kong. Competitors include a range of new or updated smartwatches from companies including Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Huawei, Pebble and LG.

Despite this, it’s the Apple Watch that has managed to garner more interest in the smartwatch market. The research firm, IHS earlier this week reported that shipments on smartwatch displays will rise 250 percent year-over-year to 34 million units in 2015. IHS also said that Apple Watch will constitute 49 percent of those shipments worldwide, while the rest would be contributed by the many remaining smartwatches in the market.

In a statement on Monday, Hiroshi Hayase, IHS director of analysis and research said, “Apple Watch has attracted a lot of attention from consumers.”

The Apple Watch has indeed been difficult to come by. The initial units of the Apple Watch sold out quickly after it was offered on preorder in April, which resulted in the shipment dates to be pushed back to June. Apple has been able to keep its shipment dates to June as customers have placed more orders. However, only few of the lucky customers who had preordered the smartwatch early were able to get it on the launch day.

Apple has consciously maintained silence on many points related to Apple Watch and its availability. For example, the company has yet to disclose how many units it has sold and has not provided any specific reason for its decision to make the Apple Watch available online and not in stores. There are speculations that manufacturing of the Apple Watches has led to congestion, while some analysts suggested that demand could be extremely high for the device.

Until Thursday, Apple provided no information of when it would offer the device in-store except that the Apple Watch has been offered online. With the smartwatch headed to more markets this month along with a timeline in place now, it is probable that Apple Watch will be on more hands or wrists in the coming weeks.

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