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Apple rumored to start Apple Watch sales in March, retail training in February

Fresh rumors on Tuesday claim Apple is looking to roll out its hotly anticipated Apple Watch in March, with specialized retail staff training for the company's first wearable device said to begin in February.



Adding to the cacophony of rumors surrounding the upcoming Apple Watch, new rumblings from 9to5Mac claim the company is currently planning to launch the device stateside in March, just making the cut for Apple's self-imposed "early 2015" deadline.

While a firm launch date has not been set, select Apple Store employees will supposedly undergo intensive training at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. or Austin, Texas in February ahead of in-store sales the month following. Extra schooling may signal Apple's intentions to market the wearable as a fashion accessory, largely uncharted territory for the company.

In addition to in-store preparations, Apple is also said to be working to improve Watch's inductive charging system, though it is unlikely that hardware changes will be approved on such short notice. Aside from its own extensive research, Apple can draw on years of development on inductive charging technology from other manufacturers in the watchmaking field. Further, the company had working models on-hand at the big unveil in September, suggesting extra efforts may be focused on software tweaks.

Today's reported launch date lines up with rumors from December that claimed Apple Watch would hit mass production this month, giving the suppliers ample time to ramp up manufacturing and assembly.

Other than a base $349 configuration sporting an aluminum chassis and ion-exchange glass, Apple has not yet revealed final pricing for Apple Watch hardware. Versions made from stainless steel and 14-karat gold, both donning sapphire glass covers, will likely sell for much more. With an eye on hefty margins for upper-tier models, at least one analyst expects the device to account for 36 percent of Apple's revenue growth in 2015.