No Apple Watches in store until June as April 24th date removed from website
No Apple Watches in store until June, Ahrendts tells staff as April 24th date removed from website
Written by: Ben Lovejoy 5 hours, 56 minutes ago
Angela Ahrendts has told Apple Store staff that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available for in-store purchases before June – but they should expect the usual ‘blockbuster launches’ in retail stores for future products.
In a memo to retail store staff, Apple’s retail head thanked staff for making the try-ons “unforgettable,” told them customer feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the online-only ordering period was likely to continue throughout May.
“ Many of you have been getting questions asking if we will have the watch available in stores on April 24 for walk-in purchases. As we announced last week, due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May.
Ahrendts said that the decision to do things this way had not been an easy one …
She said that the approach of in-store previews with online orders had been taken because the watch was not just a new product but an entirely new category for the company.
“ There’s never been anything quite like it. To deliver the kind of service our customers have come to expect—and that we expect from ourselves—we designed a completely new approach. That’s why, for the first time, we are previewing a new product in our stores before it has started shipping.
The number of watch and band permutations also meant this approach would “get customers the model they want earlier and faster.”
But if you were worried that Apple might take the same approach with future iPhone launches, Ahrendts had some words of reassurance.
“ Are we going to launch every product this way from now on? No. We all love those blockbuster Apple product launch days—and there will be many more to come.
Help will also be available in-store when customers receive their watches, including personal setup to sync Apple Watches to iPhones. The full text of the memo, which was acquired by iGen, can be seen below.
In a tacit acknowledgement that few of those who have ordered an Apple Watch will receive them by the official launch date of April 24th, Apple quietly removed the date from its website last night. KGI estimated that pre-orders will top 2.3 million by next month, after it was earlier estimated that first-day orders in the USA alone were close to a million.