During their Fiscal Year First Quarter results, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple has a target date for the release of their Apple Watch; April 2015. This date got me to thinking, I do not think that this date is merely a coincidence. I think as though there are a couple of reason for this date and I will outline them below. Before we jump into that, as of this post we only have a month, but not an exact date.
As Tim Cook stated during the earnings call today, Apple has three yearly time-frames for products, “Early”, “Mid”, and “Late”. Each time period covers four months. For “Early” it is January, February, March and April. For “Mid” it is May, June, July, and August. For the “Late” time frame, it is September, October, November, and December. Since announcing the Apple Watch, Apple has always stated “Early 2015” was the release date for the Apple Watch, and they are meeting this expectation.
The Apple Watch will have a lot of built-in functionality that will allow users to monitor health through the Workout app on the Apple Watch, the built-in Heart Rate sensors, and the fitness application on an iPhone. January 1st is a very popular time of year to begin exercising. Yet, I think a second spurt occurs when the weather gets to be nicer out, for those areas that have four seasons. Some users, like myself, do not like exercising in a gym and prefer to enjoy the good weather. This may increase sales with these users.
Tax Return time
The last factor that may indicate the timing is deliberate is that it is right around Tax refund time in the United States. This may just be good timing, but many individuals whom receive a tax refund do spend it on items that they would not normally. The timing does provide a good incentive for individuals to purchase an Apple Watch. As Abdel Ibrahim mentioned on the January 28th episode of his Resolve podcast[1. http://www.resolvepodcast.com/episodes/2015/1/28/apple-watch-retail], this time of year also allows people to save some money after the holiday rush.
At its September 2014 event, Apple indicated that the Apple Watch is the future of the company. With this, Apple needs to make sure that the software on the Apple Watch is as bug-free as possible. Not only because of the recent spate of posts about the problems with Apple software, but also because the initial impressions of the Apple Watch will be important in the future. If the general public does not perceive the Apple Watch as being valuable, the long-term viability of the product may hinder its ability to become a significant portion of Apple’s revenue.
From the earnings call, Apple’s wearable will support notifications and “glances” from iPhone-based apps and is said to be aiming for 19-hour battery life.” [2. http://9to5mac.com/2015/01/27/apple-watch-ships-in-april/] Battery life for any gadget that is as small as a watch makes it difficult to get the maximum amount of battery life. This is due to battery technology not keeping up with other technology.
It will be interesting to see how the public receives the Apple Watch and how the sales will do. Sales during Q3 2015 for Apple may not be as many as other quarters given that it will only be on sale for part of the quarter. Q4 2015 will be the first full quarter with Apple Watch Sales. It is presume that they will separate those out in the quarterly earnings, but we do not know that for a fact yet.