Apple is mulling the idea of creating dedicated stores for its Apple Watch device, according to reports in the French press. Those reports pick up on rumors of several upmarket Paris retailers building separate display cases for the smartwatch ahead of its launch in April.
If those display cases prove to be a success, the reports suggest, then Apple will consider setting up new retail outlets specifically to sell the Apple Watch alongside purveyors of luxury goods. It could also set up smaller stores inside spaces run by other retailers, in the same way that Mac computers are currently sold at Best Buy in the U.S.
See also: Apple Bets Big On Its Smartwatch, Although Killer Apps May Be Missing In Action
It’s another sign of how Apple sees its smartwatch—as less of a gadget and more of a high-end piece of jewelry. The base price of the device has been set at $349, though the cost of an 18k gold Apple Watch Edition model has been estimated at several thousand dollars.
It would therefore make sense for Apple to adopt the retail strategy used by luxury watchmakers. It would also create a clear distinction between the Apple Watch and the firm’s mobile devices and computers.
Of course, Apple already has a strong high street presence, unlike most of its competitors—Apple Stores in several landmark locations across the globe have become almost as iconic as the products inside them. Work is already underway to accommodate the new Apple Watch inside the Cupertino company’s retail outlets, and that’s said to include high-security safes where the most expensive Apple Watches will be kept.
See also: LG Strives For Style With The All-Metal Urbane Smartwatch
Apple once again appears confident focusing on the premium end of the market—perhaps even more so than with its phones and tablets. While the first Android Wear smartwatches focused very much on functionality and low prices, more recent models (like the LG Urbane) have begun to aim higher in terms of cost and style. Both the Pebble and the Sony Smartwatch 3 are now available in premium steel versions alongside the regular editions.
We’ll have to wait until April to see exactly how the Apple Watch will be rolled out, and the way the three editions are priced. If it proves as much of a success as its maker thinks it’s going to be, don’t be surprised if it gets its own retail space in the near future.
Lead image courtesy of Apple