Apple Watch demand ‘so strong’ says Best Buy CEO, expanding availability to all stores

Best Buy started selling 16 Apple Watch models plus accessories in August

Best Buy Apple Watch 16-9

While Apple has been mostly mum on the numbers behind Apple Watch sales so far, Best Buy is standing behind the iPhone maker’s general message that the Apple Watch has been a hit with customers. The electronics retailer started selling Apple Watches this month in select stores, first in the United States and later in Canada, and today Best Buy’s CEO Hubert Joly said Apple Watch demand has been “so strong” both online and in stores as the retailer plans to carry the smartwatch at even more locations.

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Joly’s declaration came during the company’s earnings call with investors today as the company disclosed a successful second quarter with increased revenue, Fortune reports. Apple Watch sales, however, didn’t kick off at Best Buy in the US until August 7th and a week later in Canada; Best Buy’s Q2 report released today covers up to August 1st and does not include revenue from Apple Watch sales.

Still, Joly’s positive comments suggest Apple’s 3-month exclusive period of selling the Apple Watch (mostly online for two of those months) didn’t completely cover demand for the smartwatch. Best Buy has more than 1,000 stores around the world with most located in the US and often in markets without Apple Stores.

The big box retailer last month committed to carrying 16 models of Apple Watch and accessories, including select Apple bands at 100 of its stores initially followed by 200 more before the holiday season. Further suggesting the soft launch has been a positive one, Best Buy now says it plans to carry the Apple Watch at all 1,050 of its stores before the end of next month.

Finally, Joly shared during the call that Best Buy was enhancing its dedicated Apple shops located within 740 of its stores with nearly half already complete and another 170 expected to open before the holidays. The Best Buy CEO also confirmed our report from a week ago that the retailer will soon begin offering AppleCare Protection Plans for compatible products with 50 stores already running a pilot program that will see stores become authorized service providers.

Despite initially being a CurrentC backer, Best Buy is also set to start accepting Apple Pay at checkout in stores later this fall with in-app support on iPhone already live.

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  1. lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

    But, but, but…. flop! It’s a flop. Everybody knows it’s a flop. Best Buy’s CEO must be lying, right?

  2. RP - 7 years ago

    I’m getting one, but it will be the next version,

  3. Apple and Best Buy are becoming best buddies it seems. Good stuff!

  4. macnificentseven48 - 7 years ago

    I definitely heard AppleWatch was the biggest flop Apple ever produced, so Best Buy is making this up to get more people into their stores or Apple has paid them to say this. What demand are they talking about. All the research reports say demand for AppleWatch is falling by the day. They said everyone who ever wanted an AppleWatch already has one. Research reports are never wrong. Everyone agrees how Apple’s share price fell due to poor iPhone AND AppleWatch sales. Cue the doom drums.


    • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

      Is this supposed to be sarcasm? Just fmi b/c idk what /s means :P

    • Anthony Moon Ciaramello - 7 years ago

      I gotta guess its in comparison to all the failures this far from other companies. So compared to their other watches, the watch may be super successful. Apple Watch OS2 should have been the first Watch to begin with. Released a product early to please investors is what it really seems like.

    • If you don’t own one, don’t knock it. My wife and I have had ours since day one. We love them and I have been using Watch OS2 beta and it will get even better with it’s going to be good.

  5. Joe Mecca - 7 years ago

    I love my watch and I was one of those people who purchased it to try and return it within 2 weeks. Never happened and it rarely leaves my wrist. My friends all ask about it and they are very curious, but I do tell them to hold off on their purchase until iOS 2 – that’s when I feel they will find Watch to be more useful.
    Here’s a tip for folks worried about charging: Charge Watch via usb about one or two hours before you leave work – watch will last throughout the night and it will always be ready for your afternoon workout after work. Watch only takes about 20 minutes or less for a full charge.

  6. Rob (@beachpipers) - 7 years ago

    “Analysts have described interest in the watch as “tepid” and “less than spectacular.” Still, best buy is going to sell this desperate product? Take today’s pop as a huge gift before this penny stock slides! I couldn’t have imaged them saying anything as misguided as that.. Wow!


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.