Apple Confirms Delay To In-Store Watch Purchases

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Gadget lovers who walk into an Apple store to buy an Apple Watch, will be disappointed, company confirms

Apple’s highly-anticipated smartwatch will not be available to purchase in-store for the next month and a half, Apple has confirmed.

The move comes after 957,000 people in the US pre-ordered the device, since it went on sale online earlier this month.

Inventory Shortage?

The decision by Apple not to sell the Apple Watch in its stores “throughout May” does raise a question mark over inventory levels for the new device.

The Daily Telegraph confirmed the news after it saw an internal memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts to Apple staff.

Angela Ahrendts Square“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,” Ahrendts wrote in the memo. Ahrendts of course is the former Burberry CEO who joined Apple as head of retail in 2014.

“Many of you have been getting questions asking if we will have the watch available in store on April 24 for walk-in purchases,” wrote Ahrendts. “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…”

“For customers who want to buy a watch, please continue to help them place their order online,” she concluded. “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.”

So in conclusion then, if punters want to hand their hands on the new Apple device, they have to order it online. The Watch went on pre-sale online on Friday 10 April, but it wont be until 24 April before the device begins shipping to customers.

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Customers can of course go into Apple stores and try out the Apple Watch. The Watch is also being sold in London’s famous Selfridges store (although reportedly they can only have 15 minutes to play with it).

The Apple Watch was first revealed to the world last September, and is Apple’s first new product category since the iPad, and is the first Apple product since the death of Steve Jobs. It is also the first device totally designed by Sir Jony Ive.

There are three different versions (or collections) of Watch, each available in two sizes and two colours, and a variety of bracelet options. Prices start from £299 but rise to £13,000 for the most premium models.

The Apple Watch Sport, available in silver and space grey, features an aluminium build. The Apple Watch Regular is available in stainless steel finish or space black. And lastly, the Apple Watch Edition is the very high-end option and is crafted from 18-carat gold and only available in limited numbers and from selected retailers.

The wearable device has gathered mostly positive reviews, there have been some caveats. Reviewers have mostly praised the Apple Watch as a “beautiful” and “stylish” device. But some have questioned its battery life, screen size, and slow-loading of apps.

Other reviewers have even questioned the need for a watch entirely, by asking how many of people even wear watches nowadays.

What do you know about the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch? Try our quiz!

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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