What's the fastest, most convenient way to buy the Apple Watch Series 2? Here are your options.
Apple Watch Series 2 hits store shelves on September 16, but you can still preorder now. There are a few options for getting Apple Watch ASAP and here are the best ways available right now.
Apple Online Store
Preordering through the Apple Online store offers the most versatile of options. You can choose from every model, band style, and case size. Even if you have a credit card on file through your Apple ID, you can change it quickly if you have Safari Keychain enabled to auto-fill your information. The filter option user interface is a nice design upgrade, making it easy for you to see your selections at a glance.
Depending on what your local Apple Retail Store will have in stock, you might actually be able to pick yours up on launch day (There will be in-store pickup available in select Apple Retail Stores).
Bottom line: Because you can pay with a gift card and change your credit card information without having to jump through hoops ahead of time, ordering online at apple.com is the best way to get your Apple Watch.
Why it's the best
Let me tell you a story. When I was preparing to preorder my Apple Watch Series 2, I got everything ready in the Apple Store app. I picked my favorite and had a backup option. At 12:01 a.m. PT on September 9, I began my preorder process. When it came time to pay, I decided that I wanted to use a different credit card than the one I have on file with my Apple ID. Guess what? There was no way to easily change my credit card during the checkout process.
I ended up going to Apple.com and finishing the process online. Because I have a variety of credit cards stored in Safari Keychain, I was able to simply pick a different one and just enter my card security code.
You can change your credit card in the Apple Store app, and you can even add a Gift Card now. But, you can't autofill your information, which means you will have to type everything in manually. In the middle of the night, that's not easy to do.
It is for this reason alone that I recommend using Apple's online store to preorder your Apple Watch.
Best for quick-buy
Apple Store App
If the credit card you have set up with Apple Pay is the one you want to use to buy Apple Watch, the Apple Store app has a very convenient way of moving through the preorder process. You can quickly find the product you are looking for and add it to your bag with one tap. When you are ready to check out, if all of the information looks correct, You can simply tap Buy with Pay and your order will begin processing. No fuss. No muss.
Bottom line: Use the Apple Store app if you are set up with Apple Pay and want to use that credit card to pay for your Apple Watch.
If you missed the preorder
In-person at Apple Retail Store
If you missed your chance to get your Apple Watch delivered to your doorstep on September 16, you still have a chance to put one on your wrist on release day, but it will cost you a bit of your time and a minor level of stress. You can take your chances that your local Apple Retail Store will have the Apple Watch of your choice in supply.
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing ahead of time what each Apple Retail Store will have in stock. There will probably be a lot of each model, case size, and band style, but other Apple Watch fans might be a little more dedicated than you are to standing in line.
If you are willing to take this route, I recommend arriving a few hours before your local Apple Retail Store opens. First, find out whether the store will have special hours on September 16. Then, grab a blanket and a chair and be prepared to stand in line for a long time.
Although you will have a chance to get your favorite style Apple Watch by showing up in person, you should also have a second option in mind, in case your first choice is already sold out by the time you get into the store.
Bottom line: This is kind of a last-ditch-effort for getting your Apple Watch on launch day if you weren't able to get it preordered for delivery on September 16. It's worth it if you experience severe FOMO (fear of missing out).
Best third-party seller
You don't have to order your Apple Watch directly from Apple. You can also pick one up through Target. Preorders are currently limited to Space Black and Stainless Steel in 38 and 42 mm, with limited band options. But, if you're not picky, you might even be able to get your Apple Watch on launch day (depending on what is in stock).
Best Buy is another option for preordering with a possible delivery date on launch day, depending on what is in stock. It is also limited in options, though there are a handful of Aluminum case variations that Target does not have available yet. You can also preorder the Nike+ model from Best Buy, but delivery won't be until at least mid-November.
Macy's recently announced it will carry Apple Watch in its retail stores starting this holiday season. There isn't any official information as to whether you will be able to order it starting September 16, but it is not listed as available online yet.
Bottom line: If you've exhausted your preorder options and don't want to wait in line at an Apple retail store, check with one of these third-party sellers, just in case. If you still have to wait to get your Apple Watch, you can, at least, use any store gift cards to help cover the cost.
Apple Online Store
The Apple Online Store is the best option for ordering your Apple Watch Series 2.
If you are hoping for the most versatile shopping experience with credit card options at checkout, it makes the most sense to visit Apple's Online Store. The only drawback is that, at this point, you are likely going to have to wait a few weeks, at best, to have it delivered.