AppCenter is empty if apt update has never been run [$30]

Steps to reproduce:
1. Do a fresh install without connecting to the Internet
2. Fresh boot and connection to the internet
3. Open AppCenter

Expectation:
AppCenter fires up packagekitd and updates the software catalog transparently in the background when the session starts up

Reality:
AppCenter only shows data for the pre-installed packages. packagekitd never fixes it. AppCenter is useless until you open a Terminal and manually run apt update