- Apple launches its first smart watch today - but its stores will not stock it
- Only one exclusive store in UK where the product can actually be bought
- Fans have started to queue outside Dover Street Market, in Mayfair
- Only five stores worldwide are stocking the watch to buy by appointment
- But those who pre-ordered it from Apple's online store will receive it today
- Have you got an Apple Watch? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 6151783
Technology fans around the world have scrambled to get their hands on the Apple Watch - eagerly tweeting their excitement with the hotly anticipated gadget.
But there is only one exclusive store in the UK where the product can actually be bought, and the queues are already forming - despite advanced warnings that it is only available by appointment.
Fans have flown from all over Europe to queue outside Dover Street Market, in Mayfair, to buy the new, sought-after wearable.
Only five stores worldwide are stocking the Apple Watch, which can only be bought by appointment.
But thousands of people who pre-ordered it from Apple's online store are due to receive their delivery today.
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Josep Maria Saez, 30, from Spain, is the first person to buy an Apple Watch in the UK at Dover Street Market, central London
The tech fan queued outside the store in central London, which is one of only five official outlets to stock the watch
Mr Maria Saez, 30, is pictured with his wife Anna, 25, looking at their new purchase. The new wearable smartwatch is the first Apple has made, and the company's first new product line since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011
Don't know how to get a good angle of it on my arm…but 38mm perfect for me. Couldn't have gone bigger, but I've got a small wrist! Super comfy!! Was a bit hard to put on the first few times but getting the hang of it! @alfredlulz @carloss_rom @justinlombardi_ @sahil16 @peguntah @brookelouise02 #applewatch #applefan #fitness #fitfashion #applewatchsport
A photo posted by Mel Firbank (@melfirbank) on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:11pm PDT
A photo posted by Mel Firbank (@melfirbank) on Apr 23, 2015 at 8:20pm PDT
There is only one exclusive store in the UK where the product can actually be bought, and the queues are already forming - despite advanced warnings that it is only available by appointment. Fans are pictured queuing outside Dover Street Market, in Mayfair
Fans have flown from all over Europe to queue outside Dover Street Market, in Mayfair, to snap up the watch
Nico Cary from sports social network Sportslobster, received a black watch this morning
Josep Maria Saez travelled from Spain with his wife, for a mini-break which 'coincidentally' was timed at the same time as the launch.
They became the first people to leave Dover Street Market with the device.
The boutique, which was offering the wearable by appointment only, opened a reservation phone line opened at 9.45am today - an hour before the shop opened.
A queue quickly formed of people waiting armed with their iPhones set to redial in order to bag a slot.
He said: 'I'm very happy - I'm really excited about everything the watch does. I've already had friends from Spain messaging me asking if I had got it - I will show it off to them when I come home.
'I am an Apple fan, I have an Ipad, Iphone, and Mac.
'We came to London to celebrate my partner's birthday which is next week. But I knew you could buy the watch only at this store, so I booked an appointment by email on Sunday.'
However, his wife Anna, 25, joked: 'I think he may have come here just for the watch.'
He replied: 'It was 50/50, we came here to celebrate Anna's birthday but I'm happy I also could get the watch.'
'THE WATCH IS HERE:' Apple's new, emotive advert
A photo posted by @omgalan on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:37pm PDT
A photo posted by Sarah Campbell (@canuckskickarse) on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:38pm PDT
A photo posted by Rohan Dwyer (@rohandwyer) on Apr 23, 2015 at 6:08pm PDT
The new wearable smartwatch - the first Apple has made, and the company's first new product line since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 - connects to an iPhone but also has new versions of popular apps such as Instagram, Twitter and Flipboard.
It includes a host of personal trackers, including a heart rate monitor, and is being billed as a personal doctor that will help users to lose weight and improve their health.
Apple also wants it to be seen as style statement and fashion accessory, with customers able to choose from any of 38 variants depending on the case and watch strap, and a host of celebrities such as Beyonce, Drake, Katy Perry and Karl Lagerfeld already showcasing their bespoke watches.
But only five high-end fashion stores around the world, including Dover Street Market in London, will have the watch in stock to sell to customers who walk in with an appointment.
Dutchman Jesse Van Donk, 27, works in marketing in Rotterdam and took a 6am flight into London this morning in a desperate bid to get his hands on the Apple Watch.
'We've been awake since 4am and got a 7am flight, Dutch time, from Rotterdam and come straight to London. We don't know if we are going to be able to get the watch, but what is life if you don't take a risk.
'Apple have launched new products before and have not disappointed, so hopefully they will amaze us again.
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Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (right) took to Instagram to show off his new Apple Watch on Thursday
'It's really weird that I could be one of the first people in the world to have the watch.'
Computer technician Salvatore Calafiore, 30, travelled from Sicily in Italy, to queue outside the tech store in London.
He said: 'I got here at midnight from Italy and I am flying back tonight. I'm a big apple fan, so I really wanted to get the watch. I will be really excited if I get it, but I just don't know.'
Student Ali Goksad, 18, has been standing outside the store since midnight.. He said: 'I've actually pre-ordered the watch but I was told I won't get it until May, so I thought why not come down to Dover Street Market and try and get it.
'I think it's really good how you can work your phone from your watch, and I think it's kind of necessary for me to get it.'
First customer emerges after hundreds queue up in Berlin
Customers queue up as they wait to buy the Apple Watch at a store in Berlin, Germany, today
Analysts believe Apple is sitting on some two million pre-orders and that sales could top 20 million this year
An Apple staff member (left) talks to a customer about the smart watches after the opening of the second Apple Store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China
Customers study the Apple Watch smartwatch at the Mixc Mall's second Apple Store on its first day open on in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province of China
But the gadget will not be sold at Apple stores on Friday. The company is directing people to order online instead, which should prevent the long lines of Apple devotees who typically flock to iPhone and iPad launches
Around 20 people queued outside the store this morning in a bid to get their hands on the watch.
Andy Meikle, CEO of sport social network Sportlobster, received two Apple Watches first thing this morning after working with the tech giant on a new app.
The Sportslobster app will enable the wearer to receive live football goal updates, red card alerts and final scores tailored to their own preferences, with push notifications broadcast straight to the wearer’s wrist.
He said: 'The team have spent the last six months conceptualising, designing and building the app so today is like Christmas day in the office.
'The Watch itself is even better than we expected and seeing the app looking slick and functioning perfectly, as well as being featured in the store alongside the likes of Instagram and Twitter is incredible.'
This morning Australian Melanie Firbank was among the first globally to get her hands on the smart watch.
The Sydney-based fitness instructor posted a picture of her new purchase on Instagram.
She said it was 'super comfy', and added: 'Was a bit hard to put on the first few times but getting the hang of it!'
Usually, Apple launches generate long queues outside stores.
But City analysts believe the company feared the queues might be embarrassingly small and so opted to launch the watch with more of a whisper than a bang.
In fact, despite the high price and some scepticism that consumers are keen to adopt a new generation of wearable technology, pre-orders have far exceeded expectations.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BATTERY LIFE? TECH EXPERTS TAKE APART THE HOTLY ANTICIPATED APPLE WATCH
As the Apple Watch starts shipping to people who pre-ordered the timepiece, tech experts at iFixit have begun taking the gadget apart to see what's inside.
It is the first time many of the features of the Apple Watch have been confirmed, including the timepiece's controversial battery.
When the battery life of the Apple Watch was announced, boss Tim Cook said it would last 'all-day'. But this was later said to be 18 hours with 'typical use.'
And official tests revealed this equates to just 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music.
iFixit has found that the battery inside the 38mm Sport model is 205mAh. It is likely the higher end models and the larger 42mm versions feature the same technology, but this hasn't been confirmed.
By comparison, the Moto 360 – which is around $100 (£100) cheaper than Apple's version – is slightly larger at 300mAh, as is the battery on the Samsung Gear Live.
While the battery inside the iPhone 6 Plus is 2,915 mAh - more than 14 times larger than the battery in the watch.
The Moto 360 is said to last up to 24 hours, although with typical use this drops to almost half.
iFixit's teardown of the Apple Watch also reveals the Taptic Engine's linear actuator, the mechanism behind the clock, and a waterproof speaker.
The new Apple Watch goes on sale at Softbank Omotesando store in Tokyo, Japan. A few people line up patiently in the early morning before the Softbank store opened its doors
The store displayed the Sport and Watch models but not the luxury Gold Edition model. Japan was among the first countries where Apple fans could get the new gadget
A customer pictured wearing his Apple Watch purchase in an electronics store in Tokyo - eagerly pictured by film and camera crew
Apple has not released any numbers since it opened for pre-orders on April 10, although many buyers were told their watches would not arrive for a month or more as supply appeared to dry up
About 50 people lined up to buy the watch at electronic store Bic Camera in Tokyo's Ginza district
As a result, the company's initial production run is simply not large enough to ensure that watches will be available in stores from today.
Analysts believe Apple is sitting on some two million pre-orders and that sales could top 20 million this year.
People are only able to purchase the Apple product if they book an appointment in advance but the telephone number was only put on the Dover Street Market website at just before 10am this morning.
|Apple Watch||Pebble Steel||Huawei Watch||Moto 360||LG Gwatch R||Samsung Gear S|
|Operating system||iOS||Pebble OS||Android Wear||Android Wear||Android Wear||Tizen|
|Display||1.4-inch and 1.7-inch touchscreen and digital crown||1.26-inch colour e-paper LCD||1.4-inch touchscreen and crown||1.56-inch touchscreen and crown||1.2-inch touchscreen and crown||2-inch touchscreen|
|Memory||Not confirmed||8MB RAM||512MB RAM||512MB RAM||512MB RAM||512MB RAM|
|Storage||Not confirmed||Total of 800KB or up to eight apps||4GB||4GB||4GB||4GB|
|Battery life||All-day' - 18 hours with typical use||Up to seven days||Not confirmed||Up to 24 hours - 12 hours with typical use||Up to 48 hours - 20 hours with typical use||Up to 48 hours - 16 hours with typical use|
|Price||From $349 (£299) to $10,000 (£8,000)||$199 (£179 in the UK)||Not confirmed||$250 (£199)||$ 332 (£220)||$199 (£270)|
|Availablity||Preorders open 10 April. Goes on sale 24 April||Available now||Later this year||Available now||Available now||Available now|
The Apple Watch is officially going on sale today - but none of its stores will have them in stock
Apple chief executive Tim Cook pictured giving a presentation on the Apple Watch in San Francisco last month
This meant people have been nervously refreshing the webpage throughout this morning waiting for the number to appear.
As well as booking an appointment customers must also bring with them an Iphone - either an Iphone 5, 5c, 5s,6, updated with iOS8.2 or later.
Sales will be limited to one watch per customer.
Dover Street Market chief executive Adrian Joffe told the New York Times that its London branch would have 570 watches, though not the gold edition of the device, which remains on back order.
The Apple Watch App Store has opened with more than 3,000 apps in it, far more than other wearables have had at launch and already rivalling the Android Wear platform in terms of size.
Have you got an Apple Watch? Send your pictures to email@example.com or call 0203 6151783