By Graham K. Rogers
It is a bit old hat in World terms, but this week saw the arrival of the Apple Watch in Thailand. A number of other countries began sales of the devices on the same day and soon New Zealand will join the club with a belated 31 July release. I wandered past one of the stores offering the new device and someone I know dragged me in to try a couple on.
With a newspaper column to write for Wednesday, I had a look at one of the iStudio outlets here on Thursday and saw a clear table at the center of the shop-floor which looked perfectly positioned for the new Watch. I was right and when I walked past Saturday morning, that table was surrounded by iStudio staff along with a couple of others who were new to me. A small line was forming outside and a lonely security guard stood at the door.
I had another look today, just after lunch. As I arrived, I was stopped by someone from the local operation and we had a chat. When I said that I was sneaking past in the hopes of taking some pics for the Wednesday column, I was walked to the table and shown the watches. I took a few photographs, using the iPhone 6 Plus which is my current working machine. I had earlier in the day collected a replacement iPhone 6 following the "main board" and blue screen problems of my usual device.
After a look at the table I renewed acquaintance with a number of others high in the pecking order for Apple locally: this was an important event to align all these stars on a Sunday afternoon.
Do I want to try one on? On the express understanding that the creaky credit card precludes me taking one home, out came a couple of the Edition watches in their boxes. Both of the 42mm Watches were identical apart from the straps.
I tried the Midnight Blue strap with the Classic buckle (585,000 baht) and Black Sport Band (470,000 baht). Of the two (theoretically speaking) I preferred the Midnight Blue strap, although my own preference is likely to be the Apple Watch with the Milanese Loop at a more realistic 26,500 baht.
I must admit, despite the fact that I have not worn a wristwatch in more than 20 years, the gold did look rather good against my arm. A lot of other people have similar thoughts and I hear that around 50% of the Edition allocation here have already gone. As far as the Apple Watch and Apple Sports Watch lines are concerned, all of the 42mm models are sold out and only a few 38mm versions remain. Not bad for a weekend's work for a dying company and a product some insist that no one wants. Bangkok consumers who have ordered online are being advised of a 23 July delivery.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.