Guessing the Apple Watch Release Date

watchOS series

This is part of my ongoing As I Learn WatchKit (AILW) series.

Today we got our first definitive clues about when the Apple Watch will be released.

In the Q1 Earnings Call Tim Cook said:

Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule, and we expect to be shipping in April. Developers are hard at work on apps…

This got me thinking about how long I have to finish up my apps. I’m currently planning at least five to be ready for day one.

Apple tends to launch new products on the weekend. The first Friday in April is the 3rd. While Tim could mean any of the 30 days in April, for my purposes taking the most conservative date makes most sense.

So if they were to launch the Watch on the 3rd when do I need to get things ready?

The most similar situation (the launch of a new platform with apps on day one) is the launch of the iPad. In an interesting coincidence it launched on April 3rd, 2010 (a Saturday that year). Apple opened submissions on March 19, with a deadline of March 27. So basically two weeks lead time.

So I’m guessing the ‘safe’ date for having your app ready is probably March 20th.

51 days from today.

In case you need a bit of extra pressure I have setup a countdown timer counting to mid-day on the 20th.

PS: Later on Tim also said this:

My expectations are very high on it. I’m using it every day, and love it, and I can’t live without it. And so I see that we’re making great progress on the development on it, the number of developers that are writing apps for it are impressive and we’re seeing some incredible innovation coming out there.

Which made me smile…as one of the developers he is talking about :)

David Smith