Apple Watch to start shipping in April

CEO Tim Cook says development of Apple's debut wearable is "right on schedule" and his expectations "are very high."

Shipments of the Apple Watch will begin in April. Pricing will start at $349. CNET

Apple's first wearable, the Apple Watch, will begin shipping in April, the company's chief executive revealed Tuesday.

CEO Tim Cook, speaking during a call with analysts following the company's earnings announcement, said that "development for Apple Watch is right on schedule."

Previously, Apple had simply said that the Apple Watch would ship in "early 2015." The lowest-end Apple Watch will cost $349. The company announced the device during a star-studded event in September. At the same time, it introduced its bigger-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

The Apple Watch is the first major new product category for the company since the "magical" iPad in 2010. It's also the first new push by the company under Cook's leadership. Cook had promised for over a year that Apple in 2014 would introduce and enter beyond its wildly successful smartphones, tablets and computers. The Apple Watch, along with the new Apple Pay mobile-payments service, fulfill that vow.

Cook on Tuesday said his expectations "are very high" for Apple Watch.

"I'm using it every day and love it and can't live without it," he said. "I see that we're making great progress on the development of it."

Cook added that the number of developers making apps for Apple Watch is "impressive."

Even though Apple has given a general release date for Apple Watch, it still hasn't provided more information about pricing and features. The device will start at $349 for the most basic version and go up from there.

Apple Watch also comes with some challenges for Apple. The company has to figure out how to sell such a personal device to consumers and how to let them try on the different models. Apple also now has more models than it does with other products, with Apple Watch offered in two sizes, three collections (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition) and five different bands.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT with additional comments about Apple Watch.

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