Apple is finishing up work on the Apple Watch’s software, and sources familiar with the product’s development say that the device is currently on track to ship in the United States by the end of March. Apple previously said that the wearable product will ship in “early 2015,” while Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts got a bit more specific by telling employees that the launch will occur in the “spring,” after the Chinese New Year…
Several sources tell us that Apple is planning an extensive testing program to familiarize Apple Retail Store employees with the new product category. One or two representatives from many Apple Stores in the United States, depending on store and market size, will be sent to Apple offices in either Cupertino, California or Austin, Texas to learn first-hand about the Watch. These training programs will take place between February 9th and February 16th.
In the couple of days preceding the official Apple Watch release date, these employees will then train other employees in their respective stores. In the months following the device’s introduction in September, Apple has been polishing up the Watch OS and putting the device’s battery through more extensive testing. Apple has also been working overtime to improve the inductive charging mechanism necessary for charging up the device each night.
Of course, unexpected delays in software development and manufacturing could push the Watch back further in the year, but March is the current plan. The Apple Watch will come in three collections, standard, Sport, and Edition, and several distinct wristband designs will be sold. While Apple has only revealed pricing for the metal and glass sport model ($349), rumors indicate that Apple will price the stainless steel and sapphire crystal standard model around $500, while the gold version will be priced in the thousands of dollars range.