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Online Only: Apple Watch May Not Be Available In-Store Until June

Online Only: Apple Watch May Not Be Available In-Store Until JuneA leaked memo last week indicated Apple will be encouraging consumers to take the online route, with another memo, obtained by 9to5Mac, signalling that Apple’s first venture into the smartwatch space will not be available in-store through May.

The memo, sent by Apple senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts, signals online-only ordering is set to continue.

“Many of you have been getting questions asking if we will have the watch available in stores on April 24 for walk-in purchases,” 9to5Mac reports the memo as stating. “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.”

The memo goes on to state that the Apple Watch is not only a new product, but an entirely new category for the tech giant, with there having “never been anything quite like it”.

“To deliver the kind of service our customers have come to expect – and that we expect from ourselves – we designed a completely new approach,” the memo states. “That’s why, for the first time, we are previewing a new product in our stores before it has started shipping.”

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch began last Friday, with Ahrendts noting in a press release prior to pre-orders commencing that Apple expected strong customer demand to exceed its supply at launch.

“To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period,” Ahrendts stated in the release.

Research firm Slice Intelligence has estimated that 957,000 people in the US pre-ordered an Apple Watch on the Friday, while, as reported by 9to5Mac, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has estimated that global pre-orders will exceed 2.3 million units through May.

Ahrendts states in the memo that every product will not be launched along the same lines as the Apple Watch, stating that there will be “many more” blockbuster product launch days to come.