Apple trying to discourage Apple Watch lines at launch

line outside Apple store
Credit: Quintin Doroquez via Flicker

In many ways, new Apple product launches have become ritualistic affairs. The night before a new product goes on sale, enthusiastic consumers line up outside of Apple retail stores in lines that sometimes stretch out for blocks on end.

With the Apple Watch slated to launch in a few weeks, that ritual may finally be coming to an end. According to an internal Apple memo obtained by Business Insider, Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts wants to put the days of waiting in line in the past, all in the interest of enhancing the customer shopping experience. 

The full memo reads:

The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers. The Apple Store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new MacBook. Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives.

This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You'll make their day.

It'll be interesting to see what the lines are like come April 24, especially given that in-store availability will reportedly be extremely limited. Indeed, even if you pre-order the Apple Watch at exactly 12:01 Pacific Time tonight, it's possible that certain bands may require upwards of a 2-4 week wait for shipment. The models reportedly subject to a 4-6 week shipping delay include the Apple Watch with modern leather bracelet, Apple Watch Link Watch, and the Apple Watch with the leather strap.

Most other models will reportedly ship between April 24 and May 8.

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