Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts tackles Apple Watch/MacBook launch questions in … – 9 to 5 Mac (blog)

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In a new video message to employees published by Mac4Ever, Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts clarified some of the details of the Apple Watch and MacBook rollouts that are starting this week. The executive confirmed that for the time being, watch orders will only be available online due to extremely limited supply.

Regarding the new products, Ahrendts says customer feedback is “overwhelmingly positive” and says the call to limit orders to online-only for the time being was “not an easy decision.” She also confirms that the first pre-order units will begin being delivered this Friday for customers who had 24-hour shipping times on their purchase.

The restrictions are explained as being the result of launching “two amazing new products at the same time,” though Ahrendts is careful to note that these limitations will not last forever. “We love our iconic blockbuster launches that we in do the stores,” she assures workers, “And have absolutely no fear: you will see those. This is just a unique situation.”

On the MacBook front, the video highlights the fact that the new laptop features only a single USB-C port, which changes the process for transferring data from an old Mac to a new one. She urges employees to review training materials on the new procedure to prepare for customers needing help.

Ahrendts says that she will continue to send out video messages each week to employees to keep them updated on the situation for both the Apple Watch and the MacBook launches. You can watch the full video below.

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21 Responses to “Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts tackles Apple Watch/MacBook launch questions in new 5 minute employee video”

  1. Jeremy Horwitz says:

    Anyone who has demonized Ahrendts as being responsible for the Apple Watch sales issues may feel differently after seeing this video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stetson says:

      Yeah, I’m not sure how people blame retail for a supply shortage.


    • Paul Rubin says:

      Operations is obviously a target. And who knows how delayed this stuff was from the design and engineering stages. Retail? Doesn’t seem to be a realistic target.


    • She isn’t responsible for the supply issues, but as someone credited with the online strategy shift, she is responsible for not communicating more clearly that there would be no devices in store on the 24th. The date was prominently emblazoned on retail posters which presumably she is ultimately in charge of.

      It’s too late now. Non-tech-news reading customers should have been told all this prior to the preorder window on the 10th.

      Holding her entirely blameless is transparent sexism. Part of putting women in powerful positions is holding them accountable for stuff under their purview. Communication of the retail strategy especially on store signage, is her purview.


      • last time I raised this same point some asshat accused me of misogyny, hence that last paragraph there… It’s amazing how legitimate criticism is attacked by people who think they’re doing the right thing. Put away the hero complex. She’s a big girl making tens of millions of dollars. She doesn’t need defending especially when the criticism is reasonable.


  2. Its so cool she actually send those videos

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ben Powell says:

    “It’s a really personal product” – that’s why we’ve used the most personal service as our primary host – the internet! Everything about this launch has been a joke. Come try it on, two weeks early. OK.. relatively organised. I learnt I need a 42mm. Wait you actually want one? Well, come over to my computer here and oh, sorry – they’ve sold out already. You’ll have to wait until June I’m afraid chap. All our TV commercials/print advertisements used the 24th date? Ah yeah.. That must have been a small typo! Talk about indecision, Sickening backtrack and SUCH an Ill considered way of doing things, especially from Apple.


  4. This lady needs to be sacked, the launch has been handled badly and all this talk of personal service for customers is just a way of distracting from the real issues. Truth is customers were not sure about which watch to purchase but in the main narrowed choice to two watches and pre ordered both. Once received they will make a decision and return 1 within 14 days for refund. Additionally the logistics of sending watches to customers direct rather than through the store has also ramped up complications in terms of despatch much easier to sent to a few locations (Apple Retail Outlets) rather than individual customers. The only possible benefit of the new process is around manufacturing i.e. judge customer response before building and if indeed this is the reason for this ham fisted approach then Apple should come clean and say so!!


  5. Steve Grenier says:

    So far, I’d say she is a great choice for Apple Retail. Looking forward to more changes she brings to Apple Stores.


  6. Anyone else curious as to what exactly “24-hour shipping times” are!? I’m not aware of anybody that got that as a shipping time. I thought 4/28-5-8 was the earliest window given?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gunay Oksar says:

      she doesn’t say anything like that in the video so not sure where this came from?


  7. spiralynth says:

    That was that was that was that was inte inter intere interes interest interesting ting ting ting ting.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. rogifan says:

    I wonder who is leaking all this retail stuff. I can’t imagine the top brass at Apple being to happy about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m guessing morale has to be really low if she’s sending out personal videos almost apologising to her staff

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did not interpret that as an apology. It sounded more like an encouragement to adjust to new ways of doing business. I think retail must be pretty happy of no block buster launch – it must be super exhaustive for the retail team to go through those


    • I think the fact that she is sending personal videos to her staff speaks volumes of her personality and empathy towards her team. Corporations need more VPs like her. But that just my un-bitter interpretation.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. robertsm76 says:

    I do have a big problem that today Apple announced that they have watches for developers but we that preordered have to wait? That’s not cool


  11. mrjordan101 says:

    But after the end of the day we all know about the MacBook most of our readers have one or more MacBooks. Get to the point will we will we not be receiving The Apple Watch on April 24 or may 8