Ahrendts memo: Apple Watches will not be available to buy in-store throughout May

“The Apple Watch will not be available to buy in-store from next Friday and throughout May, according to a memo to staff from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, seen by The Telegraph,” Rhiannon Williams reports for The Telegraph.

“Customers instead will be prompted by staff to order their Watch of choice online in order to receive it faster, a decision Ms Ahrendts said had ‘not been easy,'” Williams reports. “‘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,’ she wrote.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully with some mechanism(s) to prevent rampant scalpers from domineering the queues.

Williams reports, “‘It’s important to remember that Apple Watch is not just a new product but an entirely new category for us,’ [Ahrendts said]. ‘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.'”

Williams reports, “Ms Ahrendts confirmed that April 24 is the date customers will begin to receive their pre-ordered Watches, and that she would share further details around in-store availability in the future.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is shaping up as The Mother of all Supply/Demand Imbalances.

Ahrendts’ memo in full:

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 store 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.

Best always,

Angela

15 Comments

  1. What a great memo, but I take issue with the fact that only now they seem to be thinking this way. Why weren’t they thinking like this in September when Apple Watch was first announced? I pre-ordered, and if I read this memo, I’m going to think that I’ll receive my Apple Watch this next Friday. The problem is that my order status says June. No specific day in June. Just June. Are we supposed to believe that all of these preorders that were made last Friday will deliver on the 24th? It seems that this memo was written to be deliberately vague on that point.

  2. Same here, my email account is with yahoo IMAP and I’ve been using it and it works fine.

    Why don’t you call Apple or maybe even a local Apple Reseller and find out what your problem is? It might cost you a 100 bucks but so what?

    Again, since I got my iMac in Dec 2012 I’ve had NO PROBLEMS with my yahoo IMAP mail, the mail I get through my email account through my primary client, and the two different company’s email accounts I’ve had. Being fair, the email set up on my iPhone 3g and iPad 1 was convoluted but after being configured correctly, it functioned perfectly and 100% reliably. I had no such issues with my iMac and iPhone 4s or 5s.

    Bottom line: email on Macs, iPhones, and iPhones functions as it such for almost all email configurations.

    One thing I know is MDN isn’t going to solve your problem.

  3. I’m looking forward to getting the Apple Watch in June but a couple months delay doesn’t make a hill o’ beans difference to me, especially at what is this new device launch where demand will inevitably be off the charts.

    By fall things should start to stabilize and then go sales mad again near Christmas. Much ado about nothing for now though. Life continues apace.

  4. Unacceptable.

    The Apple Watch is ___NOT___ “unlike anything we have done before”. That’s BS. One of these years someone at Apple is going to have to man up and take accountability for having product to sell WHEN YOU SAY IT WILL BE AVAILABLE.

    This has happened on every recent Apple product release, and it’s a sign that Apple isn’t learning much. The “pre-order” joke isn’t funny.

    And Angela — don’t tell us to buy Apple’s “most personal product yet” online. That’s just poor retail. You may enjoy the cache’ of having product constraints in fashion, but the Apple Watch should at least attempt to be an available, functional computing device that Apple’s longtime user base can get their hands on.

    1. Paul, I will apologize in advance for my bluntness. I am sorry. But you have no fucking clue what you are talking about.

      I’d love to know your qualifications in manufacturing, global logistics, international marketing and retail sales. Because you are pretending to lecture the most insanely profitable company on Planet Earth about the very subjects that it is universally acknowledged to be a master at.

      You have no fucking idea how difficult it is to manage the design, engineering and manufacturing of a product as complex – and unprecedented – as the Apple Watch, and then to deliver that product to markets around the world.

      As both an Apple product user and a stockholder I applaud the cautious roll-out of the Watch. You, sir, need to STFU.

      1. Ralph: your opinion is noted, and it is wrong. The company I work for produces avionics for commercial aviation. I hope I don’t have to spell out how much MORE complicated and critical that performance and reliability of our products and services are. Apple couldn’t cut it here.

        Nice knee-jerk reaction though. Better luck with your stereotyping next time.

        1. He may be wrong about your experience but with respect to product supply and inventory management, Apple has been by far the most successful company of our time. Nobody can accurately predict the exact demand for an entirely new category of product. The greatest possible disaster for a product launch is overshooting the expected demand. Such mistakes are extremely expensive to make. Initial product ramp-up is always most expensive and long inventory even more so, forcing rapid discounting to clear up the backlog of overstuffed channel. Infinitely better is when demand exceeds already optimistic projections.

          Apple underestimated the demand for a new category of product. In their position, that was by far the most likely, and most desirable mistake to make.

          1. “Apple has been by far the most successful company of our time”

            That was under Steve Jobs’ stewardship.

            If as you state, when launching a ‘new product’ category, “the greatest possible disaster for a product launch is overshooting the expected demand…”

            I would argue, the greatest possible disaster for a product launch is having NO PRODUCT in any of the stores on launch day.

            Some people just can’t see the woods for the trees on this site.

  5. Ok, so the scalpers buy devices at non-discount prices and try to sell them at inflated prices because they have effectively bought out supply. Apple makes a nice margin on each sale of the new Apple device. it would be to Apple’s benefit to ignore the and simply produce more than the scalpers could possibly buy out. Marketshare would jump due to scalpers having bought so many and Apple would make a handy profit with demand still to spare..

  6. This is just a reiteration of previously announced info. Apple already said that Apple Watch can only be purchased through an online order, until further notice (after supply catches up to demand). The purpose of this “re-announcement” is to prevent the more “fanatical” (but less well-informed) customers (and “scalpers”) from starting a line in front of the store the night before, thinking they can just walk in and buy an Apple Watch.

    This would have been a less-confusing way to describe the Apple Watch rollout. (1) Demo appointments at Apple Store and other exclusive locations, starting on April 10. (2) Online orders ONLY, starting on April 10. (3) Delivery and in-store pickup starting on April 24, scheduled date based on availability of selected model.

  7. Maybe MDN hit the nail on the head. The people buying up product to make a killing online or overseas are going to find it harder to order online. Apple have time to review the orders and sniff out the scalpers.

  8. While its possible early orders that now say June will show up in May, there is no way to know whether Apple can ramp it up to do that.. But we’ll see… But we probably won’t see that for at least another month…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.