Apple’s first wearable is slated to launch sometime next spring according to Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts. That’s a bit later than some expected but still fits into Apple’s timeline of “early 2015.”
The news reportedly comes from a recent video message sent to employees, a transcript of which was obtained by 9to5Mac. During a reminder for retail employees to “conserve energy” for the busy holiday season ahead, Ahrendts said they’ve got a new watch launch coming up in the spring after the Chinese New Year.
A quick check of the calendar shows the Chinese New Year starts on February 19 while the first day of spring occurs on March 20. If her words are indeed accurate, that’d put the Apple Watch launch well past the possibility of hitting retail before Valentine’s Day as had been previously rumored.
Apple announced its broad launch window during the smartwatch’s unveiling this past September. On one hand, it made sense for Apple to go ahead and show off the wearable to build consumer interest. The longer Apple forces people to wait, however, the more time its competitors will have to come up with their own solutions or improve existing products.
Microsoft, for example, released its wearable this past Friday. The Band is a hybrid fitness tracker / smartwatch that costs just $199 and works with the top three mobile platforms (Android, iOS and Windows Phone). The Apple Watch, meanwhile, will start at $349 and works only with the iPhone.