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Apple Watch won’t reach stores until June, says retail head Ahrendts

Apple’s head of retail stores Angela Ahrendts has told staff working at Apple’s stores that they’re pretty unlikely to see the Watch reach them before June. Apple has also removed the Watch’s launch date – April 24 – from its website. It’s unlikely that many of the 1 million first day pre-orders would make it to customers by the launch date, let alone the rest that have ordered since.

The news came via a memo from the senior vice president of retail and online sales to store staff where she said they shouldn’t expect to be selling the Watch in-store until the summer. However, they should still expect to see the kind of ‘blockbuster launches’ that steal the headlines in future – Apple certainly wouldn’t want to lose the queues which provide excellent photos ops each time a new iPhone is released.

Ahrendts notes:

“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.”

Unlike the iPhone, which is launched in store on a specific day, the Watch was launched in this way because not only is it a new product, but an entirely new category for Apple, she goes on to say.

However, those lines will return. Ahrendts said: “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.”


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