8 Steps to Prepare for Your Apple Watch Purchase Online

Image credit: Apple

There are several things you can do to prepare for your Apple Watch purchase online to ensure a better chance of success. That's especially true if you're competing with everyone else at 12:01 a.m. PDT on April 10th. I'll walk you through some recommended technical preparations to help make sure you get the Apple Watch you want.


1. Sizing. Make sure you've measured your wrist with a string or strip of paper. Know your wrist size in millimeters and take a look at the Apple Watch sizing guide linked on the page for every model. See below. Some have different band sizes, so pick the right-sized band for the desired watch and tap the heart icon at the top right. Then you'll be better prepared.

Note that sizing guide reveals something important. In order to get the larger bands, up to 215 mm, you'll have to select the 42 mm Apple Watch.

Apple Watch sizing guide is linked for every model.

2. Connections. There are several Internet connections available to you for purchase. The first is to use a web browser on a computer. You're probably using a Mac, and, if so, I recommend Safari to make sure there are no HTML/CSS issues, etc. with the Apple online store.

Because an iPhone 5 or later is required to use an Apple Watch, you should make sure you have the iOS Apple Store application ready as well. (Icon below.) It's been reported (and observed by the TMO staff) that during high traffic times, the Apple Store app can make a connection when Safari on a Mac cannot. If you have a choice of Macs, use one that's hardwired with Ethernet and not Wi-Fi.

Make sure you are logged in with your Apple ID.

3. Stylus. If you find that you cannot connect with a Mac and Safari but can connect with the Apple Store app on your iPhone and begin a purchase, have a stylus handy. You may obtain a slight edge in speed and accuracy by using a stylus when time is of the essence.

4. Plan to use Apple Pay. You can use Apple Pay online (within apps) with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. If you don't have an iPhone 6-class phone but do have one of the listed iPads and you've set up Apple Pay, your purchase will probably be completed more quickly.

For example, even though you may have a credit card on file associated with your Apple ID, the purchase process may ask for the card's CVV code or ask you to verify your county of residence. Apple Pay will likely be faster.

Image credit: Apple

5. Default Apple Pay. If you do plan to use Apple Pay online, and you have multiple credit cards enabled, make sure you have the desired default card selected. In iOS, go to Settings > Passbook & Apple Pay > Default Card. Look under the "Transaction Defaults" label. When you're ready to check out, look for the Apple Pay logo.

Online Aple Pay looks like this.

6. Preflight. If you've never purchased with the online store using Apple Pay, you might want to practice with a cable or some other minor accessory you need anyway.

7. Review Your Favorites. If you've already selected your favorite Apple Watch, with the heart icon in the online store, now is a good time to review them. See: "How to ‘Heart’ Your Favorite Apple Watch in the Store App."

Along these lines, be ready to call it quits if you can't get the watch you need. Watches are a very personal item. Don't settle if waiting gets you what you really want.

In the store app, tap the account button (the outline of a person's head) and tap on favorites. You may want to take a screen shot or print your favorites and have the list of favorites numbered according to your preference: #1, #2... etc. If your favorite isn't available, you can cross it off and move on to the next Apple Watch in the list.

8. Don't be in Bed. If this ordering event goes as expected, Apple's online store will be busy, although probably not as busy as last year's iPhone 6 event. Things might go wrong for you as well. I recommend you be sitting at your computer with iPhone or iPad and wallet handy. That way, you'll be ready to handle any unexpected connection or payment issue, and you'll have multiple connection options. (#2 above.)

Web Order. Done! You'll receive an email confirming your order, but it's always a good idea to take a screen shot of the Web Order Number. It starts with a "W" and will be on the receipt displayed after the order is complete. That's just in case the email is late and you need to call the Apple Online Store. 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Final Words

With these technical preparations, you'll be as ready as possible to jump online and order the Apple Watch you've been wanting. That is, assuming, the one you want is in stock when you try to buy it, and Apple's ordering system cooperates.