Well that didn’t take long. Just hours after Apple revealed the final details on Apple Watch pricing and availability, online rental-based companies are starting to announce Apple Watch try-before-you-buy rentals. The first such company is Lumoid, which was founded in 2013 as a way for photographers to test out high-end gear before committing to a purchase. Lumoid has since expanded its offerings beyond photography gear and now rents out a range of wearable devices such as the Samsung Gear Fit, Fitbit Surge, and, soon, Apple Watch.
During its Monday event, Apple CEO Tim Cook repeatedly reminded the audience that Apple Watch is the most “personal” device Apple has ever created, and that potential owners really need to try it for themselves in order to decide on size, material, color, and bands. Apple Retail Stores will feature special areas where customers can test Apple Watch for themselves, and many of Apple’s retail partners will eventually follow suit. But not everyone lives near an Apple Store (and they’re likely to be mobbed for the first few months anyway), making a mail-based service like Lumoid intriguing.
Potential Apple Watch customers will be able to rent Apple Watch Sport and the stainless steel Apple Watch for 7 days for $45 and $55, respectively. Should the customer choose to buy and keep the watch, a portion of their rental cost can be applied to the retail purchase price ($25 for the Apple Watch Sport and $30 for the Apple Watch). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition will not be available.
With supply limited and demand expected to be high, it remains to be seen how many Apple Watch units Lumoid will be able to secure for rental customers. But if they can maintain an adequate supply of watches in various styles and configurations, it may be the easiest way to try Apple Watch before buying. Lumoid isn’t getting any kind of early access to Apple Watch, so the device won’t be available for rental until after the April 24th launch. Interested customers can join the waitlist to be notified when rental Apple Watches are available.