Apple Watch won't land in store until June as Apple drops April 24th release date from website

Apple Store staff have been told that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available to buy in-store until June as the company faces unprecedented demand for its first wearable. In a memo to staff, Angela Ahrendts, Head of Retail at the Cupertino-based company, thanked staff for making "last Friday's debut of the Apple Watch unforgettable" before saying that "feedback from customers is overwhelming positive".

She then went on to say that in-store purchases were unlikely to be available until June.

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 launch the Apple Watch this way had not been an easy one but was born from the drive to "deliver the kind of service our customers have come to expect" and the preview program would "get the customers the model they want earlier and faster".

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.

Apple's product launches have traditionally been attended in their thousands but the lack of in-store availability means the traditional launch extravaganza won't apply to the Apple Watch. However, Ahrendts went on to confirm that future products would be treated to "blockbuster launches" of the kind we've seen from Apple before.

The memo, obtained by iGen, also reveals that there will be help available in-store when customers get their new watches, including a personal setup to service to sync Apple Watches with customers' iPhones.

Team,

On behalf of Tim and the rest of the executive team, I want to thank you very much for making last Friday’s debut of Apple Watch unforgettable. The Previews going on in our stores and support from our Contact Centers are unlike anything we have done before.

The feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive. They are excited about Apple Watch, and your teams are creating fantastic experiences for them. Customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned, and I know you will do a great job helping them get set up.

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. It has not been an easy decision, and I want to share with you the thinking behind it.

It’s important to remember that Apple Watch is not just a new product but an entirely new category for us. 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.

Apple Watch is also our most personal product yet, with multiple case and band options because it’s an object of self-expression. Given the high interest and initial supply at launch, we will be able to get customers the model they want earlier and faster by taking orders online.

I know this is a different experience for our customers, and a change for you as well. 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. They’re the moments where you, our teams, shine. And our customers love them as well!

Apple Watch is an exciting new product and we are at the start of a very exciting time at Apple. You’re the best team on earth and you are doing an amazing job.

For customers who want to buy a watch, please continue to help them place their order online. Also make sure they know that, wherever they buy, Apple will provide them with a great Personal Setup experience — either online or in our stores. This includes syncing their Apple Watch with their iPhone and teaching them about all the incredible features of their new Apple Watch.

Thank you very much again, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

With over 1 million orders placed for the Apple Watch - and suggestions that total pre-orders could reach 2.5 million by next month - unprecedented demand for the Apple Watch means some orders won't arrive until June. Only four models are available in the first batch of shipments with the other models requiring 4-6 weeks waiting time, and the Apple Watch Edition is set to be rarer yet.

Have you ordered the Apple Watch? If so, let us know which one in the comments below. If you missed out on the first batch and don't want to wait until June, you can buy one but be prepared to pay a hefty premium. Then again, you could always order from Apple and then lease an Apple Watch until yours arrives.

Source: iGen via 9to5Mac

Report a problem with article
Next Article

Microsoft improves Bing image search for Android and iOS

Previous Article

Apple's Surface Pro 3 contender gets more details with leaked case images

39 Comments - Add comment

Advertisement