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Jonathan Ive Wants to Sell Apple Watches in Special V.I.P Areas

Apple's retail stores are currently spare, airy spaces configured to showcase big, shiny pretty things, like Macbook Airs, and iPads on blond wood tables. But with most of the company's profits coming from iPhones, and with the planned arrival of the Apple Watch in April, the company's design chief Jonathan Ive is working to redesign Apple stores around the world to better showcase the smaller products. Ive recently got the New Yorker profile treatment, in which it was revealed that has some interesting ideas about how best to sell "the first Apple device with a design history older than its founder." Future Apple stores will have a "V.I.P area" of sorts, where solid gold models of the Apple Watch, costing many thousands of dollars, will be sold.

Other people at Apple raised concerns about creating divides between customers (the least expensive watch option will be $349), but Ive's vision for an ultra-luxury version of the watch, which will incidentally be a lot cheaper, than say, a Patek Philippe or a Rolex, ultimately triumphed. Ive, who collects watches, tells New Yorker writer Ian Parker about a conversation he overheard in China that shaped his ideas about the future store design. "I'm not going to buy a watch if I can't stand on carpet," one man reportedly said. Apple stores are currently carpet-less, but perhaps not for long.

· Jony Ive & Angela Ahrendts collaborating on an Apple Store redesign to better showcase Apple Watch [Apple Insider]
· Jonathan Ive and the Future of Things to Come [New Yorker]
· With the Apple Watch coming soon, Jony Ive is already revamping the Apple Store design for its arrival [Archinect]
· All Apple coverage [Curbed National]