The Apple Watch, which was announced by Tim Cook this September, will reportedly launch in Spring next year. During the September presentation, Apple CEO teased the device’s launch as “early 2015,” making many Apple enthusiasts believe that it would arrive shortly after the holiday season.
According to the leaked Apple document obtained by Apple news site 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch release date was revealed as Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, who addressed employees telling need to conserve energy ahead of upcoming shopping seasons.
“We are sprinting a marathon right now, and it’s not going to stop,” she reportedly said. “We’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.”
In September another source claimed that the Cupertino-based tech giant would struggle to hit a Valentine’s Day release, which now appears to be even more unlikely. Considering the fact that Chinese New Year starts February 19, and spring officially begins March 20, the watch might appear as soon as late March, which means that the launch will miss Valentine’s Day regardless.
Citing some sources, the report further states Apple executives have started planning retail strategies for the watch. All retail employees will be trained to help customers try out the new watch and its features.
“iPhones, Macs, iPads, and iPods in retail stores are secured via wires to showroom tables, so Apple actually allowing customers to try on the product before purchase will be a new experience for the company. Ahrendts is said to believe that retail-based watch sales will deepen relationships with customers, which is critical for future sales,” adds the report.
There was a report last year that the company had plans to ship the wearable devices in fall 2014, but engineering difficulties delayed the launch to 2015. Another reason was battery issues with sources claiming Apple is still working out kinks in the device’s battery system.
Apple’s SVP of operations, Jeff Williams, appeared to confirm these delays in a statement.
“We want to make the best product in the world. One of our competitors is on their fourth or fifth attempt, but nobody is wearing them,” he said.
“We could have done the watch much earlier, honestly, but not [with] the fit and finish and quality and integration of these products. So we are willing to wait.”
The Apple Watch will be available in three versions – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. For each design there are two size options, a 38mm or 42mm watch face, and an array of different bands. The starting price for the smartwatch, which is only compatible with an iPhone 5 or later, is $349.
When Apple Watch will hit the market it could face some competition from Microsoft Band, as the device is cross-platform – meaning it can be used with iOS, Android or Windows Phone devices. Motorola, Samsung and FitBit have also recently released updates to their smartwatches.