Apple’s New Job: Selling a Smartwatch to an Uninterested Public

SAN FRANCISCO — For Apple, the hard part — making a smartwatch — is nearly over.

Soon it will be time for the harder part: selling the long-anticipated Apple Watch to consumers who, so far, are not very excited about the idea of wearing computers on their bodies.

The first batch of smartwatches from companies like Samsung Electronics, Motorola and LG did not sell well, nor were they particularly well reviewed. And wearable devices like the Google Glass eyewear that got mainstream attention — if not sales — were greeted with considerable skepticism.

But Apple has been in this situation before. Most consumers didn’t care about computer tablets before Apple released the iPad, nor did they generally think about buying smartphones before the release of the iPhone. In both cases, the company overcame initial skepticism.

The Apple Watch, which Apple introduced last September and is expected to be in stores in April, is a miniature computer worn around the wrist, with a touch screen and a crown for navigating the device. There are three different models sold at different prices and the bands are interchangeable.

He said he was both “bullish” on the long-term potential of the smartwatch and “skeptical” about what exactly people would do with it.

“I really wonder exactly how I’m going to use it and how often I’m going to use it,” Mr. Barnard said.

A version of this article appears in print on March 2, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Apple Watch Is Nearly Ready, But the Public Isn’t . Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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