Apple Watch on track to ship in April, CEO Tim Cook says
During Apple's quarterly conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch development is on track and expects to launch the device in April, coming in just under the company's "early 2015" promise.
After months of waiting on addition Apple Watch details, Cook confirmed the device will ship sometime in April, later than industry expectations and rumors. The Apple chief noted everything is on schedule as seen by internal range estimates and the project is in fact largely on schedule. The company considers the first four months of the year as "early," the next four as "mid" and the last four as "late," Cook said.
An impressive number of developers are already working on software specifically designed for the device, Cook said, though exact titles are not yet known.
Apple generated massive interest in its first wearable device when the Apple Watch was unveiled at September's iPhone event, but the company failed to elucidate on a number of key details, including a firm release date. In the intervening time span, Apple has maintained an "early 2015" launch, but reports of low component yield rates and other slowdowns cropped up seemingly every month.
Last week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast Apple Watch to hit store shelves in March, a sentiment shared by other industry insiders and rumor mongers. At the time, Kuo pegged Apple to ship 2.8 million units in the first calendar quarter of 2015.
It is unclear how many Apple Watch units Apple intends to ship, but Kuo said component suppliers could see shipments in the 4 million to 5 million unit range through the March quarter. He also noted a few manufacturers are seeing low yields on key parts, which is affecting final assembly rates.