Apple Watch April release date, confirmed price, specs, features and where to buy
Apple Watch could go on sale in Selfridges and have dedicated shops
Update: Apple Watches may be on sale in department stores worldwide
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Apple Watch: Will launch in Europe in April
Update (03/03/2015): Vaughn Highfield: Speaking at Berlin's flagship Apple Store last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the upcoming Apple Watch wouldn't be a US exclusive when it releases in April.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple Store employess were told that the Apple Watch would launch in Germany in April. Therefore, it's not too hard to expect the watch to land in Europe in April too following an early April US release.
Update (02/03/2015): According to The New York Times, the Apple Watch will feature a "Power Reserve" mode which displays only the time when battery levels are low. The story, based on interviews with unnamed Apple employees, also claims the overall battery life of the product will be a day, meaning it will need charging overnight.
While we already know that the Apple watch will begin shipping in April, we've never had a concrete date or price for a global rollout. It seems to make sense that Apple would confirm those points during its event in just over a week.
We know that the event will be a confirmation of the Apple Watch because, after a bit of deduction work, "spring forward" is the US term for clocks moving forward.
US Daylight Savings begins on 8 March, the day before Apple's conference.
Coincidence? Unlikely, but it does mean we have some idea of what to expect during this surprise event.
(27/01/2015): @Janemccallion: Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will start shipping in April during the company's first quarterly results call of the year.
"Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule and we expect to begin shipping in April," he told analysts and shareholders, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. "The creativity and software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting and we can't wait for our customers to experience them," he added.
Cook didn't give any insight as to whether there would be a staggered release, as there has been in the past when Apple has launched a totally new product, or if all global regions will be able to buy it at more-or-less the same time.
Apple has previously confirmed the price of the entry-level Apple Watch in US dollars will be $349, which currently equates to about £229. It's known the Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition will cost more, with rumours flying that the Sport will be over $1,000 (£658) and the Edition costing up to $5,000, although this hasn't been confirmed.
Apple Watch latest news
Pop-up Apple Watch stands coming to department stores
(06/03/2015): @Janemccallion: Apple is setting up pop-up shops in department stores in the capital cities of Europe, according to reports.
French websites Mac4Ever and FashionMag have claimed stands are being installed in high-end fashion boutique Colette and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, both in Paris. Mac4Ever also suggested similar pop-ups could appear in Apple Stores themselves, including the one on the Champs Elysées.
MacRumours, meanwhile, claims to have received information that Apple will occupy a corner of the Wonder Room in Selfridges, Oxford Street, where Apple Watches will be sold alongside some of the priciest watches on the market.
Additionally, 9to5mac has suggested Apple "is considering constructing dedicated Apple Watch retail stores", although this is all dependent on the level of demand.
All shall be revealed on Monday during Apple's "Spring Forward" event, which PC Pro will be live blogging, so be sure to check back from 5.00pm GMT.
Health features and customisation to be main Apple Watch selling points
According to 9to5mac, Apple Store employees have been told to focus on "3 Key Features" of the Apple Watch, particularly its health and fitness properties, as well as the customisation offered by different bands.
9to5mac claims to have seen an internal document - reproduced on its site - that details how Apple Store employees should try and sell the device and, crucially, encourage customers to buy additional products.
The first of these is asking if the customer has a compatible iPhone and encouraging them to buy a new one on the spot if they don't - someth
ing that, all things considered, seems pretty sensible to PC Pro. There's no point in spending over £200 on a smartwatch you can't use, after all.
The other side of this is a little more subtle, though. The Gurus, as they are called, are also instructed to find out about the customer's "needs, tastes, and material preferences" not only to help them choose the appropriate watch for them, but also to see if they would "like additional bands to suit different occasions".
You don't have to leave it to an Apple employee to help decide which options you want on your smartwatch, though.
An Italian website, dubbed mixyourwatch, lets you mix and match the different the six different case and 16 different band options available from Apple to find the combination you want.
While it's not an official site and you can't use it to place an order for the device, it could help you get an idea of the design or designs you're most interested in before you have to start fielding the Gurus' questions.
Apple Watch Edition price and 12-page Vogue spread
(26/02/2015): @janemccallion: If you were in any doubt about the Apple Watch's luxury credentials, now's the time to start believing.
According to multiple rumours, the Apple Watch Edition, which will be available in 18 karat rose or yellow gold, will retail for approximate
ly $10,000 (£6,428 at current exchange rates). This is double previously rumoured prices and over 28 times the confirmed price of the entry-level Apple Watch.
According to Stephen Fosket of high-end timepiece news website Grail Watch, Apple Watch edition must cost at least that amount, largely because of the current price of gold.
"0.25 cc of 18k gold is about enough to construct a watch buckle and 0.75 cc gets you a deployant clasp. It takes a few more to build a watch case, anywhere from 1.5 to 8 cc depending on the size and thickness of the case," said Fosket.
"So the buckle is worth $120-$360 and the watch case $720 to $3800 just as raw gold. This is why gold watches generally sell for a lot more than $6,000!" he added.
As Fosket points out, though, compared to other gold watches, $10,000 would be small change. The Cartier Tank MC watch, also in 18 karat gold, costs up to $22,000. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Hometime, meanwhile, costs up to $42,900.
While Apple may not quite be Cartier or Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Edition is definitely being pitched as a fashion item, rather than a techie one, as evidenced by the 12-page ad spread that's just appeared in American Vogue's Spring Fashion Blockbuster issue.
According to Recode, a single page ad in the magazine costs $189,888 (£122,373), meaning the spread could have cost up to $2,278,656, although normally magazines offer a bulk discount for those purchasing multiple pages.
With the Apple Watch release date confirmed for April this year, there's only maximum eight weeks to go until we finally find out just how much the Edition will really cost.