Despite there being no Apple Watch stock available to buy in-store on its 24 April release date, the company's retail chief has said its iconic in-store launches - as seen with the iPhone and iPad - will not be going away.
Apple has taken an all-new approach to retail with the Watch, which has been available to try in-store (with an online reservation) since 10 April, and although it officially goes on sale on the 24th, no customer will be able to buy one in its retail shops on that day, or soon after.
Instead, orders placed online close to 10 April will result in deliveries to customers' homes beginning on 24 April, but those who placed later pre-orders may be faced with a wait of several weeks. At the time of publication, all models of the Watch have estimated June deliveries.
Addressing sales staff in an internal video published by Mac4Ever, retail chief Angela Ahrendts said the new selling process was "not an easy decision" but maintains Apple "loves our iconic, blockbuster launches that we have in store...have absolutely no fear, you will see those [again]."
Ahrendts added that the way the Watch is sold online "is not going to last forever...this is a unique time for us right now...I know all of this is new and you've been overwhelmed with a lot of new [sales] material".
It had been speculated that Apple was using the Watch launch (and that of the new MacBook, due on the same day) to transition away from product launches where fans queue for days to get their hands on the latest iPhone and iPad. Some customers were known to regularly queue for up to a week, shunning an online order and in-store collection process in favour of queueing around the clock with fellow Apple die-hards.
But while these scenes began as positive PR for Apple, it became apparent in recent years how many people queuing for doing so to immediately sell the new products for a profit in countries like Russia, where new Apple products go on sale a few days or weeks later.