For Apple (News - Alert) buffs out there, possibly one of the longest waits for an Apple product came as a result of the Apple Watch. Having been rumored to arrive for some time, and under at least a couple of different names, the Apple Watch is finally ready to make an appearance, and sooner than some may have even expected. The newest reports say that the Apple Watch will hit stores in March, and several sources are adding credence to this by noting that February is expected to feature new training for Apple Retail Store employees.
The reports had been coming out fairly rapidly, each time pinning down the release date a little closer. First Apple suggested “early 2015,” which could have been anywhere from January to late May. Then Apple's senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts pointed to the spring, or just after Chinese New Year. Now, we have not only word of late March, but also of training sessions to take place to get employees up to speed with the new device, suggesting that March is indeed go time for the new device. The plan, at last report, is to send Apple Store representatives—depending on market size and store availability—to offices in either Austin, Texas or Cupertino, California to learn about the device firsthand, then take the knowledge back to the respective stores just in time for the actual release date to follow.
In the meantime, Apple has been making a few last minute modifications, including improvements on the Watch OS operating system as well as improvements to both the battery and the battery's inductive charging mechanism. When released, the device will be offered up in three different versions, with several different wristband designs. Users will be able to choose from the standard, the Sport, and the Edition, and reports suggest that the Sport model will sell at $349. Some reports peg the standard, with stainless steel and sapphire crystal, at around $500, but the gold version is set to sell around the several thousand dollar mark.
It might sound outlandish, particularly given the number of smartwatches already on the market that retail for substantially less than this one will ask for even the simplest of models. Things aren't exactly that great in a lot of economic pictures throughout much of the world, but Apple buyers have shown a remarkable resistance to cost of late, along with a clear predilection for buying Apple. While some have suggested that Apple products of late have been falling down on the job in terms of innovative quality, that doesn't seem to be slowing sales any, so either the rank and file Apple buyer doesn't agree or agrees but doesn't much care. Still, seeing just what kind of market response this generations is going to be an interesting point, and it may even offer up something of a halo effect for smartwatches, a development that might be welcome for smartwatch makers. Even the wearable tech field might get a boost from the new Apple release as potential buyers better consider the possibilities inherent in such devices.
Only time will tell, naturally, just what kind of hit this has, and it's also worth noting that should there be any serious software glitches or the like that crop up between now and March, there may be further delays to come. But for now, March is looking like the goal, and if training is actually going on in February, then the release must not be too far behind.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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