Apple Watch Slated to Go on Sale in April

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch will hit store shelves in April in a revelation made during the company's Q1 2015 earnings call on Jan. 27.

Apple Watch, smartwatches, wearables

Apple Watch will arrive for consumer purchases in April, which is a bit later than previous rumors that had hinted at a March release.

The April launch target was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook on Jan. 27 as part of the company's record-breaking first-quarter 2015 earnings call, which touted $74.6 billion in revenue and $18 billion in net profits for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 due to a consumer frenzy of sales of Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

Cook said that the development of the upcoming Watch is "right on schedule" and that his expectations regarding the wearable device "are very high."

The long-awaited Apple Watch was announced at the company's new-product event last September, along with the 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, though additional pricing information has not yet been announced.

Apple Watch is expected to arrive in three versions: a sport version in polished or black stainless steel, a standard anodized aluminum model, and a luxury edition in rose or yellow 18-carat gold.

Rumors began circulating online earlier this month that the smartwatch would be released for sale in March, but Cook's comments will likely end that speculation.

Cook said during the earnings call that he is excited about the watch and its promise for consumers. "I'm using it every day and love it and can't live without it," Cook said. "I see that we're making great progress on the development of it."

Previously, Apple only described the release date for the product as sometime in early 2015.

Interestingly, Apple 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 Cook asking 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 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.