Apple has stuck to its “early 2015” timeline for releasing the Apple Watch since it was previewed in September, but there’s a lot of uncertainty to what that timeframe actually means. According to remarks made by Apple SVP of retail Angela Ahrendts to Apple Store retail employees reported by Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch will be released after the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 19 in 2015.
The exact quote from the Ahrendts video message is: “We’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.” That, at the very least, means that Apple Watch won’t be on sale by Valentine’s Day, as some observers had guessed. That’s fine for the United States market — Valentine’s Day isn’t a huge occasion to buy consumer electronics. But Chinese New Year could have been a good target for a new luxury smartwatch launch for rich people in Asia to gift instead of the traditional red envelope.
The Apple Watch preview given in September left a lot of questions open: For instance, we still don’t know how 3rd party apps will work in detail, or what Apple’s retail strategy or pricing will be for the different models — ahem, “editions.” It’s likely that the Apple Watch is still very much under development.
[company]Apple[/company] is also seeking a developer evangelist for the Apple Watch, according to its official jobs website. WatchKit, a software development kit for making Apple Watch apps, is expected to come out later this month, and Apple needs someone to reach out to third-party developers and help them make sure their apps are ready when the Apple Watch does launch.
Ultimately, it’s not going to make or break the Apple Watch whether it comes out in late February or sometime later in the spring. What matters is that the device exhibits the level of polish and consideration that has been a hallmark of other Apple products. And it looks as if in order to do that, Apple will stretch what “early 2015” means.