Apple might have a lot of unhappy customers on its hands. The good news for Apple is that buyers flooded Apple's website with Watch preorders starting on April 10th. The bad news? Now it seems the vast majority of those eager customers probably won't receive their new gadgets by the previously announced April 24th launch date. Even Apple Stores are unlikely to have the watches in anytime soon.
In a leaked memo from Apple's retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, staffers were informed about the delays. Ahrendts announced that the company will continue to accept new orders only through Apple's website. Watch will be availability only by online orders at least through through May. She also hinted that Apple Watch won't be available in stores until June. Buyers will likely face delays if you order a watch through Apple's website, too. Right now, most watches list the shipping date as "4-6 weeks" or simply "June."
This backlog might have to do with Apple's decision to preview the Watch in stores but open up ordering online first. Typically, Apple launches products like new iPhones with in-store sales that result in huge lines that wrap around city blocks.
Though no sales totals have been released, the Apple boss writes that the launch day was "unforgettable," with ongoing "high global interest" and "feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive."
So, is Apple going to start launching all of its new gadgets with online ordering instead of in-store sales? Probably not. Ahrendts stated that Apple will likely stick to its "blockbuster Apple product launch days" with things like new iPhones or iPads in the future.
French website iGens first got its hands on her memo. Take a look below.
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.
In addition to the memo, Apple hinted at delays by removing the April 24th launch date from its website.