When Apple announced its Apple Watch last September, all we knew about its release date is that it would be "early 2015." Today CEO Tim Cook snuck a more specific nugget of info into Apple's Q1 earnings call: the company expects Apple Watch shipments to start in April.
According to Cook, "Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule, and we expect to begin shipping in April." That would put the smartwatch in the same launch month as Apple's last brand new product release, the original iPad, which was announced five years ago today and released to the public on April 3, 2010.
The Apple Watch, however, is facing a very different environment than any of the company's previous entrances into new mobile product categories. Though the iPhone and iPad weren't the first of their respective types, they had form factors and functionality that were unlike anything else available at the time. But the Apple Watch is launching alongside a bevy of smartwatches from heavy hitters like Samsung, LG and Motorola, all of which fall into the same basic mold (touchscreen, vibration alerts, glanceable info) as Apple's wearable.
Elsewhere in Apple's earnings call, the company reported record revenue on (also a record) 74.5 million iPhone sales. Cook added that the company sold its billionth iOS device back in November.
Apple's 21.4 million iPad sales marked the second straight quarter with year-over-year drop, as interest in tablets (or at least frequency of upgrades) has tapered off of late. Apple sold 26 million iPads in the same quarter a year ago.