The Apple Watch release date arrives in April, but Apple is still keeping details about the Apple Watch release under wraps including the exact day and important information about the Apple Watch price. Even though this is not a secret product there are still things many potential buyers want to know about the Apple Watch release and the three Apple Watch versions. In response to reader questions we want to take a look at what we expect from the Apple Watch release in April.
This is the first Apple Watch release, so there is not as much history as with an iPhone or iPad update, but thanks to Tim Cook’s announcement we know when the Apple Watch release will arrive and with an introduction at the iPhone 6 event last year we know much more about the new Apple Watch than we typically do about an Apple product months before the release date.
Tim Cook announced the April Apple Watch release date during the Apple earnings call on January 27, 2015. This delivered a more specific date than the early 2015 timeline Apple stuck with since the original announcement but leaves room for an event and for Apple to continue working on the product.
We know a lot about the Apple Watch, but many consumers still want to know more about how the Apple Watch fits, the differences between the Apple Watch models and what exactly the Apple Watch will do.
Even though this is the first Apple Watch, there are things we expect from any Apple release. This allows us to share seven things you can expect from the Apple Watch release date.
Apple Watch Release Date Specifics
You can count on an Apple Watch release date during the week. Apple often starts selling hot new mobile products during the week. The iPhone arrives on a Friday and we occasionally see the iPad arrive on a Wednesday.
It is also a given that Apple Stores will open early for the event. Most Apple Stores open at 10 AM during the week, but when a new product arrives the store often opens at 8 AM local time.
There is a chance that the Apple Watch release will heavily favor Apple Store locations over Best Buy and carriers. With multiple models, sizes and colors as well as a new product to explain to consumers Apple may want to handle the initial sales in a controlled environment.
Apple Watch Event
Apple already announced the Apple Watch in 2014, but they still need to talk about battery life, pricing and accessories and announce the specific release date and pre-orders.
An Apple Watch event in March or April will allow Apple to highlight more of what the Apple Watch can do and show off Apple Watch apps from third-party developers.
Don’t count on as much fanfare as an iPhone launch, but it seems very likely Apple will do more than a press release to announce the exact Apple Watch release date.
Apple Watch Pre-orders
Although Apple doesn’t always offer pre-orders on products we anticipate Apple Watch pre-orders, and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does as well. This will allow consumers to get home delivery of the Apple Watch or possibly reserve one for in store pickup.
You can count on a 12:01 AM Pacific pre-order start time if Apple does offer them, and a pre-orders that sell out quickly. Apple normally continues to take orders, but the release day delivery or day one delivery option will likely disappear soon after orders start.
Apple may ship 2.8 million Apple Watches in early 2015 according to a report shared on Apple Insider, but the note also cautions that there may be shortages of key components. This could lead to shortages online and in stores. After a new Apple release we often see consumers struggle to find the product in stock at local stores and online.
We see this happen with the new iPhone every year, the new iPad every year and even with the Moto 360 release in 2014.
Apple Watch Release Problems
When it comes time to buy the Apple Watch at an Apple Store, or any other retailer that offers the device, expect some issues as consumers struggle to pick the size and model of the Apple Watch and which band they want to buy. This will lead to an avalanche of customers who want to try on an Apple Watch at the Apple Store, and then who want to try on another version or size and another.
If you want to go hands-on with the Apple Watch and see what all it can do, you will want to avoid the Apple Watch release date at Apple Stores unless Apple delivers a magnificent method to showcase this watch in limited spaces.
Apple Watch Apps
In November Apple shared a tool with developers to start working on Apple Watch Apps, but we may not see a huge selection at release. Apple allows third-party Apple Watch apps, but it typically takes some time and testing before we start to see a huge selection. John Meyer, Found and CEO of Fresco News told CNBC that it may take some time before we see a lot of apps. Part of this is due to a lack of an Apple Watch demo unit to review and test apps on and the need test Apple Watch apps on those. Meyer suggests several months will go by before we start to see really great Apple Watch apps.
There are also many limitations that Apple Watch apps will need to deal with. Cult of Mac shares a collection of things Apple Watch apps can’t do based on the current limitations. Here are some of the most interesting limitations;
- Non Apple Apps need the iPhone connected
- Can’t Open an App on the iPhone
- Limited access to Control
- No Force Touch and No Taptic Vibrations
- No Heart Rate Monitor or NFC Access
- Microphone is Only for Dictation
There are several other limitations and for now you will need to rely on the Apple Watch faces that Apple makes available as there is no mechanism for buying new Apple Watch faces. And you can only pair the Apple Watch to one iPhone.
Apple Watch Accessories
Count on a small selection of Apple Watch accessories at release, as we are already seeing several chargers up for pre-order and early sale. The Bandstand Apple Watch Dock is on a waiting list, and there are many others including cases, covers and watch bands.
In the months after the Apple Watch release we expect to see an uptick in the number of Apple Watch accessories especially Apple Watch bands that are easy to swap out by pressing buttons on the button of the device. While Android smart watches like the Moto 360 require a more work to switch bands, it looks like you will only need to press two buttons to switch Apple Watch bands. Expect loads of customization options here.