Why we should expect a gradual rollout for Apple Watch


Apple Watch did some monster pre-orders in its first day on sale. Photo: Leander Kahney
The clock's ticking until we get our hands on an Apple Watch. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

As the company’s first major new product category since the iPad, Apple fans are understandably excited about getting their hands on an Apple Watch sometime in 2015.

But while Apple has so far given just “early 2015” as a vague launch date, a look at the Apple Watch micro-sites for around the world paint a different picture; suggesting Apple’s eagerly-awaited wearables debut will follow a gradual iPhone-style rollout which may keep some customers waiting much further into the new year.

Of course, this is highly speculative based on the fact that Apple’s verbiage can change from market to market, but there’s no getting around the fact that currently major markets like the U.S. describe the Apple Watch as “Coming Early 2015” while others simply advertise “Available in 2015.”

So if this is to be believed, when will an Apple Watch land in your market? Check out the (possible) answer after the jump:

Spot the difference: Apple’s U.S. and Australian Apple Watch mini-site.

In terms of Apple sites currently advertising the Apple Watch for “early 2015” there are seven mentioned: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K.

If this turns out to be accurate, it’s a break from the release schedule of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which landed in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan the same day as primary markets like the U.S. That means European countries Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland would all be the first places in the world where the Apple Watch would go on sale — exactly six hours before the East Coast of the U.S.

Also notable is that, among the sites not to mention the Apple Watch at all, is Ireland — which received the iPhone 6 as part of Apple’s second wave of iPhone launches. No explanation is given as to why this might be the case, but if it turns out to be true, Bono’s going to be upset! (Then again, he’s probably already got his Apple Watch.)

After first being alerted to the different verbiage used on Apple Watch sites over on Reddit, Cult of Mac combed through each site in turn to note the wording they use for the Apple Watch launch.

Secondary markets: Russia, Austria, Belgium, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, India, United Arab Emirates, Anguila, Antigua, Sweden, Turkey, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatamala, Guyana, Peru, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname, Bahamas, Trinidad, Uruguay, Venezuela, Canada, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, Saudi Arabia

Not mentioned: Armenia,  Bahrain,  Botswana,  Cameroun, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Israel,  Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mali, Marocco, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Indonesia, Phillipines, Vietnam, Macedonia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Ireland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Portugal, Macedonia, Hungary, Malta, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia

While it’s not known exactly when the Apple Watch will land in the U.S. (some have suggested in time for Valentine’s Day) a recent report claimed that Apple has ordered 24 million units from manufacturers — in line with what UBS analyst Steven Milunovich previously predicted. If Apple achieves this it will be an enormous success — particularly since only 3.3 million fitness trackers were sold in 2013.

For now, we’ll just have to continue playing the waiting game. Are you excited about Apple Watch?

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  • @inicolas2

    In France, we had “Disponible en 2015” until recently.
    So Apple changed its mind, and that’s probably a really good thing! :-)

  • winstonsmith39

    That would not really be a surprise. If I remember correctly, we in Australia didn’t get the original iPhone at first either. Supplies are often constrained with a new product, plus they’re trying to bed in the sales method, which might be different, especially with the watch.

    As I don’t own a smartphone of any kind, the question of me buying an Apple Watch has been decided anyway, no matter when they launch it.

  • thinkfurther

    I intend to buy one when they get to Canada where we have a robust NFC system.

  • crateish

    No. This ain’t Google Glass.

  • With over thirty models, I wonder if they will sell, or package, the watch and bands separately. If you order steel with stone let her band, will they give you two items? It’s trivial to snap the band onto the watch.. Otherwise how could apple know how many of thirty different models to assemble/stock?