The Apple Watch, announced by the company in a showy media event back in September 2014, could be showing up for sale to the masses in Apple stores and online by the end of March, according to a recent rumor.
The Apple Watch's arrival has been awaited by many Apple fans, though the company hasn't yet given any definitive time frame for when the new devices would finally be released for sale. Previously, Apple only described the release date for the product as sometime in early 2015. Now, unidentified sources are saying that the Watch will arrive by the end of March for sale to consumers, according to a Jan. 7 story by The (London) Telegraph.
Apple staff members will begin receiving sales training about the Watch in the middle of February, the report states.
Apple as a company is not attending this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and is not officially showing or discussing the device at that event.
The long-awaited Apple Watch was announced at the company's new-product event on Sept. 9, along with new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The Apple Watch screen is controlled by touch, by arm movement and by the "crown"—the circular wheel button on the side that traditionally was used to wind a watch.
The watch, which must be used with an iPhone to get full usability, can do everything a smartphone or laptop can do, just on a smaller scale. It can also do things those other devices cannot do, such as track steps, heart rate, blood pressure and other health-related metrics. The device will start at $349.
It is expected to arrive in three versions: a sport version in polished or black stainless steel, a standard anodized aluminum model, or in a luxury edition in rose or yellow 18-carat gold.
Interestingly, the Watch hasn't even arrived yet and it is already the source of some controversy in the United States. In September 2014, Connecticut's attorney general, George Jepsen, sent a two-page letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking about how personal information and privacy protections will be implemented and enforced on the device and on any servers that store or handle the information.
Jepsen told Cook in the letter that he wants to make sure that the new device doesn't intrude on the personal privacy of users in his state, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
Jepsen's letter explained that such inquiries were appropriate because they were being made before the devices went on sale, in case any device changes might need to be made before the devices eventually hit the market.
Among the issues that Jepsen said he wanted to explore were whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal and health information on Apple Watch itself and/or on its servers, and how that information will be safeguarded. He also wanted to discuss how Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded.
In addition, Jepsen wanted to find out about the kinds of information that the Apple Watch and its applications will collect from users, and how Apple and application developers will obtain consent to collect and share such information from these individuals.