Put away your tents and lawn chairs: Apple won’t have any supply of the Apple Watch to sell at its physical retail stores on April 24. Angela Ahrendts, the company’s head of retail, said in a memo to Apple retail store employees published by The Telegraph that the Watch won’t be available for sale in stores at launch, and she expects the company won’t have enough supply to start selling them at retail until June.
Instead, people who want a Watch right away should order it online. Ahrendts said the decision was a tough one, but it’s the best way for Apple to get the Watch out to the most people at launch when supply is constrained.
“Apple Watch is also our most personal product yet, with multiple case and band options because it’s an object of self-expression,” Ahrendts said. “Given the high interest and initial supply at launch, we will be able to get customers the model they want earlier and faster by taking orders online.”
In other words, Apple won’t have enough Watches to pull off one of its mammoth product launches at retail stores around the world in addition to online, and selling the initial stock of Watches through an online pre-order system will make it easier for the company to most effectively send different Watch configurations where they’re needed.
There’s a glimmer of hope for people who just love waiting outside a store for a shiny new Apple product, though: Ahrendts said that this won’t be the only method of launching Apple products going forward, which means people who want to wait outside in the cold for a new iPhone later this year will likely still have a reason to break out their coats and sleeping bags.
The news comes as KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a strong track record when it comes to Apple news) predicted that the company sold more than 2.3 million Apple Watch pre-orders. In a note first published by MacRumors, Kuo said that’s how many Watches he expects Apple to produce through May, and all signs point to Apple having outsold that supply already.