Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. Cook revealed the shipping timeframe during Apple's quarterly earnings call with investors; the company enjoyed a blockbuster quarter backed by massive iPhone sales and huge growth in China. Now it will look to carry that success forward with the launch of Apple Watch, its first major new product since the debut of iPad in 2010. "We’re making great progress in the development of it," Cook said. He also revealed that Apple is encouraged by the response from developers and app makers so far, saying "We’re seeing some incredible innovation."
Update: Read our review of Apple Watch.
April meets Apple's definition of 'early' in the year
Upon revealing Apple Watch in September of last year, Apple described the smartwatch as its "most personal device ever." Today's the first time Apple has publicly commented on the product's release date beyond a vague window of "early 2015." The company rarely announces significant news during earnings calls, making today a notable exception. Some might criticize Apple for considering April to be "early" in the calendar year, but Cook doesn't see a problem. He said that when mapping out product launches, Apple separates the year into three, four-month windows for early, middle, and late. "To us, it’s sort of within the range. It’s basically when we thought," he said.
And while he got more specific about the launch, Cook did not reveal any new pricing details for the Apple Watch beyond the "starting at $349" we heard in September. Apple Watch will be made available in three styles: the regular model, an Apple Watch Sport version aimed at active consumers, and an ultra-premium Apple Watch Edition that could be priced in the thousands and compete against brands in the luxury watch market. Even with a release month now official, there's still plenty more we expect to hear from Apple over the next few weeks and months. Aside from sharing full pricing details, Apple will need to set consumer expectations around battery life — for better or worse.