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Apple Watch release date set for April 24, pre-orders on April 10

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The news comes as part of the Spring Forward event, where Apple outlined the release data for the Apple Watch, and how sales are going to work.

Two-weeks before the launch, on April 10, Apple will open up pre-orders for the Apple Watch and offer in-store previews for interested customers (including a table that shows off every Apple Watch combination available) and retail staffers to help you try them on and get a feel for how one really feels.

That April 24 launch date is for just a handful of countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States. More are coming later, but for now, that's where is starting.

iMore's complete Apple Watch buyers guide is already in progress, so if you're in the market, check it out, figure out what you're going to get, and then prep your credit cards.

Apple Watch Available in Nine Countries on April 24

SAN FRANCISCO—March 9, 2015—Apple® today announced that Apple Watch™, its most personal device yet and the newest innovative addition to Apple's ecosystem, will be available on Friday, April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US. Apple Watch is an incredibly accurate timepiece, an intimate and immediate communication device and a groundbreaking health and fitness companion. Highly customizable for personal expression, Apple Watch also brings an entirely new way to receive information at a glance and interact with the world through third-party app experiences designed specifically for the wrist.

"Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We can't wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before."

"Conceived, designed and developed as a singular product, Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before," said Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of Design. "In Apple Watch, we've created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalization in a wearable device."

Apple Watch introduces revolutionary technologies including the Digital Crown™, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display. The Retina® display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access relevant controls. The all-new Taptic Engine™ discreetly delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.

Incredibly Accurate & Customizable Timepiece An extremely precise timepiece, Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard.* Apple Watch can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or beautifully animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face. Apple Watch goes beyond telling time with specialized functions on the watch face—known in watchmaking as complications—such as the sunrise/sunset, upcoming calendar events or daily activity level. With multiple customizable watch faces and complications, Apple Watch enables millions of possible configurations. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you're listening to.

Intimate & Immediate Communication Device Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone® right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap so you won't miss important notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate in all-new ways by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact quickly and conveniently with the world around you with Apple Watch by paying for coffee using Apple Pay™**, boarding a plane with a Passbook® boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri® for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.

Groundbreaking Health & Fitness Companion Apple Watch encourages you to sit less, move more and get some exercise every day. The Activity app provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you've stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch smartly uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalized activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three distinct collections—Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features a lightweight anodized aluminum case in silver and space gray with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colors. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

The world's most vibrant and innovative developer community has been creating all-new experiences specifically designed for Apple Watch. From requesting an Uber, checking in to your American Airlines flight, booking a bike for your Equinox class to remotely controlling your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away, the possibilities for Apple Watch apps are endless. These experiences extend the functionality of your favorite iPhone apps, while delivering an innovative way to interact—right from your wrist. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets you browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store™.

Designed to be worn throughout your day, Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour all-day battery life*** and comes with a unique charging solution that combines Apple's MagSafe® technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that simply snaps into place.

By design, the shopping experience for Apple Watch will be the most personalized Apple has ever offered. When Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) on Friday, April 10, Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering customers the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.

Pricing & Availability Beginning April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, Apple Watch will be available for preview, try-on by appointment at Apple's retail stores, and available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com). On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan. Customers who purchase online or in-store from Apple will be offered Personal Setup to customize and pair Apple Watch with their iPhone.

Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US).

Apple Watch will also be available to preview or try on at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London on April 10. Apple Watch will be for sale on April 24 at these select department store shop-in-shops, and at boutiques in major cities across the world including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin.

Starting today customers can explore and choose their favorite Apple Watch in the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) or through the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad.

Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.

*Accuracy depends on regular syncing with iPhone. **Apple Pay is only available in the US and through participating banks. See www.apple.com/apple-pay for details. ***Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results may vary.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

6 Comments
  • Can't wait to get one! :) Any dates for other countries? Sent from the iMore App
  • Do I need the bring the iPhone all the time in order to make the watch work? I don't wanna bring both iPhone AND the watch when exercising at the gym or running outside etc. Tell me this is not the case... Sent from the iMore App
  • I think that for most functions: Yes, an iPhone is required. If you're looking for a gym companion, a fitness band might be more up your alley if you want to collect the data there, and sync it later. However, Apple has only just started really talking about the Watch, so it is possible there's a "fitness mode" where it collects fitness information and lets you sync it back to your iPhone later, and you'll just simply miss any notifications during that time.
  • The new laptop is what bought my eye. Research Kit appears to be a wonderful thing for the Watch though. Maybe the app store for the watch will better motivate me than the keynote, my important use cases weren't mentioned.
  • April 24th - That is not EARLY Spring.
  • Does Siri speak on Apple Watch? Or are the responses only text?