Apple looks set to offer Apple Watch devices for sale in its retail stores come June, after CEO Tim Cook mentioned the date during a recent visit to China.
Speaking to Apple employees at its China headquarters, detailed of which were revealed by 9to5Mac, Cook confirmed that his company has June pencilled in as the month where the Apple Watch will make the jump from an online ordering-only system to availability in its retail stores in select countries including China.
Currently, anyone wanting to order an Apple Watch has to do so via the company’s online store and then wait for the device to be shipped to them once available. This decision was made due to supply constraints for the new wearable, with Apple’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts saying that the move does not herald a shift in policy from Apple in the long term. Apple, said Ahrendts, simply wanted to enable customers to enjoy the best buying experience possible – and that doesn’t include long lines at stores for a product that was severely supply constrained.
Speaking of the Apple Watch itself, Tim Cook said that the launch “could not be going better,” presumably overlooking the long wait times seen by many people and the somewhat haphazard shipping schedules seen by others. Many of those who ordered saw their orders arrive quicker than expected, while others watched as their order did not move. This backlog appears to have begun to ease off late though, with Apple ramping up production following reported issues with the Taptic Engine part of the watch.
With the news that Apple is working on bringing the Apple Watch to its retail stores within weeks, it is clear the company is beginning to get to grips with whatever supply issues have hampered the product’s launch to date and that can only be good news for those still without their watch.