Launch day queues for the latest must-have gadget are as much a part of Apple culture as learning to live without ports and optical drives.
But Apple retail guru Angela Ahrendts wants to change all that — sending out an email to Apple Store employees proclaiming that, “The days of waiting in line … are over” for customers.
Her alternative? Shop online.
The memo, in case you can’t see the above image, reads:
Get in line online
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.
While we knew that customers would have to book appointments (rather than just turning up) to buy their Apple Watches on launch day, the fact that the above email also refers to the new MacBook is certainly interesting.
Apple has traditionally reserved plenty of stock for its brick-and-mortar retail stores. Even after its online store has sold out of pre-orders, there is regularly stock left for its stores — with flagships like the Fifth Avenue Apple Store getting thousands of units to sell on launch day. As Ahrendts pushes people to buy online, it will be intriguing to see if these in-store supplies are cut back any.
The move could also be a reaction to the large numbers of resellers who increasingly show up in Apple launch day queues. Or maybe Apple just no longer has to prove its popularity with large crowds as it did in the early days of the Apple Store.
Is it too early to start an over-under on whether the new ruling also applies to the forthcoming next-gen iPhone? An iPhone launch that doesn’t look like the “Odessa Steps” sequence of Battleship Potemkin is virtually unimaginable to me.