The Apple Watch launch will come in the “spring,” according to a video message to employees by Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angel Ahrendts.
Ahrendts stated the timeframe to retail employees in a video message, a transcript of which was provided by a source. While explaining that employees need to conserve energy for upcoming shopping seasons, Ahrendts stated, “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring:”
Apple has consistently said the Apple Watch will ship in early 2015, so Ahrendts’ message to employees sets the date a little later than many expected.
Reports in September indicated Apple would face a bit of a struggle to introduce the Apple Watch in time for Valentine’s Day gifting, and as Spring begins on March 20th, the message could indicate that Apple continues to struggle with the production of its new wearable.
Ahrendts clearly states the launch will take place following the Chinese New Year (February 19th), so it appears the launch will indeed miss Valentine’s Day.
9to5Mac’s sources indicate Apple executives are already planning retail strategies built around the new watch category. Tim Cook told staff members during last month’s retail employee meeting that retail staff will be trained to help customers try on the Apple Watch, and will even show them how to swap out bands.
Ahrendts wants retail-based watch sales to deepen relationships with customers, encouraging future sales of Apple products to those customers.