Apple retail chief Ahrendts addresses Apple Watch, 12" MacBook availability issues in internal video

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2015
In an internal video sent out to Apple Store employees on Tuesday, Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts clarifies the situation with Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook availability, reiterating the need to push customers toward online sales as supply catches up to demand.




The video, obtained by Mac4Ever, shows Ahrendts addressing Apple Store employees from Cupertino in what appears to be an impromptu update necessitated by customer questions surrounding current and future availability of Apple's latest products. Both Apple Watch and the 12-inch MacBook launched on April 10 to overwhelming demand, but the company switched to an online-only method of ordering that apparently left many buyers confused.

Ahrendts wants employees to impress upon customers that Apple Watch is not simply a new device, but an entirely new product and platform. As such, Apple tried out a new system by which customers were invited to try on various models at Apple Stores two weeks before actual availability. Instead of allowing early buyers to queue up at Apple Stores on launch day, as is common practice for iPhone and iPad, Apple chose to handle all preorders online.



The first Apple Watch orders are expected to reach customers by Friday and Ahrendts told staff to be ready for personal setup appointments. Initial supply sold out within minutes and customers ordering now have to wait at least four to six weeks for delivery.

Earlier today, Apple extended a limited time offer to developers, giving select individuals the opportunity to buy a 42mm Apple Watch Sport that will arrive by April 28.

The retail chief acknowledges the Watch situation is "unique," saying future product launches will be handled directly at brick-and-mortar stores. She added that Apple's website is the best place to get information on new device features and rolling availability.

As for MacBook, Ahrendts said the laptop's launch was one of the best ever for Apple. Especially popular are MacBook's new color options, Space Gray and gold, though all models are seeing high uptake. She makes special note of MacBook's single USB port, urging employees to review personal setup training material as data migration methods have been substantially changed.

Ahrendts plans to send out weekly updates with availability information relating to both products.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 150
    Um um um echo echo echo
  • Reply 2 of 150
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    She screwed up her first big shot- they should've had them on display for a week, let people figure out which ones they wanted first and then did an online-only preorder but made sure everyone in the stores knew about it.
  • Reply 3 of 150
    Video will become "private" in 5,4,3,...
  • Reply 4 of 150
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    And here come the armchair quarterbacks in 5, 4, 3...
  • Reply 5 of 150
    crushedcrushed Posts: 12member
    I agree with one of the above comments, the watches AND the MacBook should have been on display before launch day. But what is really bad is that the MacBooks are still not available to even check out at stores! That looks like a screw up right there!

    Update: thanks everyone who took the time to correct me. It turns out that the UK had no MacBooks on display on launch day nor any indications on when they would be available. I suppose there were enough to put on display in the U.S. and maybe in other countries.
  • Reply 6 of 150
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 586member
    For the compensation she received, this was botched. She is known for wanting to make online and offline seamless. But this launch did not work. Either you have a try on period offline and then you launch it online a few weeks later. Or you have a proper simultaneous launch where the watch is available online and offline at the same time.

    Ordering online first and *afterwards* trying it on at a store (when it is essentially no longer available online) is the worse of both worlds. What were they thinking?
  • Reply 7 of 150
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Yeah the whole ordering watches online was dumb and everyone on AppleInsider were defending the decision and advising people to order both models and then remove one from the order.... Like that's not gonna make orders worse and more confusing for both Apple and customers who's order is pushed back artificially.

    No lines at stores also means less publicity and more hate from the anti-Apple media who will spin launch as a "failure".
  • Reply 8 of 150
    pistispistis Posts: 247member
    No the people who screwed up are the poster's not her. You are all being a bunch of whiners because there is no need to try out the watch at all. Just buy the damned thing if you don't like it you have a certain period of time to return it for another. What's so complicated about that jeez!
    pah the "me me me" generation - losers
  • Reply 9 of 150
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Um um um echo echo echo



    That can't be the original because it shows the on screen controls in the actual video. It also has subtitles so it was originally done by a professional.

  • Reply 10 of 150
    michael_cmichael_c Posts: 164member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crushed View Post



    I agree with one of the above comments, the watches AND the MacBook should have been on display before launch day. But what is really bad is that the MacBooks are still not available to even check out at stores! That looks like a screw up right there!



    It's been in the Apple store that's closest to us since the 10th - at least, that's when I played with it.  Haven't been to any of the other nearby Apple stores recently to know, but would think they were there as well.

  • Reply 11 of 150
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,307member

    I like the part at the end where she looks around and sighs, "Chewie....We're home."

  • Reply 12 of 150
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    I like the part at the end where she looks around and sighs, "Chewie....We're home."


     

    Can't wait to see how Matthew McConaughey's reacts to this video.

  • Reply 13 of 150
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 154member
    Angela Ahrendts is an Edsel......big fanfare, awful performance. I wonder how long the egos will have Apple hang on to this disaster. Steve Jobs would have yelled at her while security was packing up her office.
  • Reply 14 of 150
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,938member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    And here come the armchair quarterbacks in 5, 4, 3...



    Yep, it’s amazing how many marketing geniuses take the time to post on AppleInsider. I wonder if they are charter members of the instant gratification genre? 

  • Reply 15 of 150
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    crushed wrote: »
    I agree with one of the above comments, the watches AND the MacBook should have been on display before launch day. But what is really bad is that the MacBooks are still not available to even check out at stores! That looks like a screw up right there!

    What are you talking about? The MacBooks have been on display in stores since they launched.

    As for the watch, the only screwup is the crushing demand that is gobbling them up faster than they can be manufactured. I could think of worse problems to have.
  • Reply 16 of 150
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,030moderator
    I'm still amazed that some of those who wanted to check out the watch before buying it think that those of us who were willing to take a risk of buying one sight unseen should have been forced to wait for them to go into the stores and check them out first. When the Mini Cooper was first introduced, some people smacked down a huge deposit, and paid more than MSRP for the privilege of getting theirs first, without having seen one in person. When a condo development is under construction, pre-orders are accepted from people who want to get the best selection of floor, view (south-facing, ocean view, etc) and are willing to make their purchase without waiting for a walk-through. They're willing to risk that they might not like the condo they purchased once it's been finished. You often take a risk for the privilege of first selection, or to be first in line to get some new product. That's the way the world works. Apple didn't screw up in this regard, as some suggest. Nope. Those who want the world to stop and wait for them, this is who screwed up.
  • Reply 17 of 150
    kpomkpom Posts: 616member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post



    She screwed up her first big shot- they should've had them on display for a week, let people figure out which ones they wanted first and then did an online-only preorder but made sure everyone in the stores knew about it.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    And here come the armchair quarterbacks in 5, 4, 3...

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by crushed View Post



    I agree with one of the above comments, the watches AND the MacBook should have been on display before launch day. But what is really bad is that the MacBooks are still not available to even check out at stores! That looks like a screw up right there!

     

    Hindsight may not be 20/20 on whether the trial period should have been before the orders began. That happened in Australia and New Zealand and they had lines around the stores, which apparently isn't what they wanted, either. As for the MacBook, my guess is that this is a supply chain issue, which is not in Ahrendts' control, but instead is on the SVP-Operations. Quanta had some serious QC issues, it seems.

     

    In any case, had they launched try-ons March 27th and the pre-orders April 10th, perhaps some people who changed their minds on which model to buy would be happier, but others would have complained about how they are available for try-on but you can't even place an order for 2 weeks (which of course would still have been followed by 4-6, or June or July ship dates).

     

    Overall, Apple Retail had to deal with an issue in which they had massive supply chain issues (unlike anything they have seen before) on an already-delayed product, and the CEO had already publicly committed to a launch date.

  • Reply 18 of 150
    crushed wrote: »
    I agree with one of the above comments, the watches AND the MacBook should have been on display before launch day. But what is really bad is that the MacBooks are still not available to even check out at stores! That looks like a screw up right there!

    MacBook, lowest build has been on the demo tables at my store for a while. I tried it last week, it's really a beautiful machine that seems very fast, and feels so much lighter than an air
  • Reply 19 of 150
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 586member
    I'm still amazed that some of those who wanted to check out the watch before buying it think that those of us who were willing to take a risk of buying one sight unseen should have been forced to wait for them to go into the stores and check them out first. When the Mini Cooper was first introduced, some people smacked down a huge deposit, and paid more than MSRP for the privilege of getting theirs first, without having seen one in person. When a condo development is under construction, pre-orders are accepted from people who want to get the best selection of floor, view (south-facing, ocean view, etc) and are willing to make their purchase without waiting for a walk-through. They're willing to risk that they might not like the condo they purchased once it's been finished. You often take a risk for the privilege of first selection, or to be first in line to get some new product. That's the way the world works. Apple didn't screw up in this regard, as some suggest. Nope. Those who want the world to stop and wait for them, this is who screwed up.

    True. But then should the watch not be available in store at least on the 24th?
  • Reply 20 of 150
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 586member
    [quote name="KPOM" url="/t/185896/apple-retail-chief-ahrendts-addresses-apple-watch-12-macbook-availability-issues-in-internal-video#post

    Overall, Apple Retail had to deal with an issue in which they had massive supply chain issues (unlike anything they have seen before) on an already-delayed product, and the CEO had already publicly committed to a launch date.
    [/quote]

    That's probably it: a workaround to hit a launch date.
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