In an internal memo to Apple retail employees on Thursday, retail head Angela Ahrendts said Apple Watch orders will continue to be taken exclusively online through May, and that deliveries of the new wearable will begin April 24 as planned.
Ahrendts, via iGen.fr:
“The feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive. They are excited about Apple Watch, and your teams are fantastic experiences for creating them. Customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned, and I know you will do a great job helping set them up.
Many of you have been asking if we will have the Apple 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, purpose we expect this to continue through the month of May.”
No walk-in purchases, and no in-store pickup will likely result in April 24 being one of the quietest product launches for Apple in recent history. None of the long lines as we usually see on a product launch day.
Ahrendts did instruct employees to assure customers that Apple’s iconic long lines, and the excitement that usually surrounds them, are not a thing of the past. Ahrendts added that she knows the customers love the line experience, and there will be many more of them to come in the future.
“I know this is a different experience for our customers, and has changed 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 times where you, our teams, shine. And our customers love them as well!”
Earlier today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors in which he estimated global pre-orders for the Apple Watch have exceeded 2.3 million units.