Yesterday, Apple finally confirmed the that it would hold a press event on September 9, at which many believe we’ll see not only the new iPhone 6, but also the long-rumored iWatch – or whatever Apple ends up calling its wearable accessory. A new report on Re/code says that despite its scheduled appearance at the event, the iWatch still won’t show up on store shelves until sometime next year.
The post cites “sources in a position to know,” who say of the iWatch, “It’s not shipping anytime soon.” As for anything more concrete than that, the source says that the iWatch won’t be available to purchase at retail until after the holiday season, roughly early 2015. Of course, for its part, Apple hasn’t offered any comment on the matter. That’s not too surprising considering that the iWatch itself hasn’t even been confirmed as existing, much less delayed. Such is the nature of tech rumors.
However, if the iWatch does, indeed, appear at the event on September 9, it’s not too surprising that it might not be immediately available for purchase. All things considered, Apple only needs to show that it’s a product that will be available in the not-too-distant future to ensure a buzzy reaction from critics and fans. The Moto 360, for example, has barely been seen in action since it was first revealed earlier this year as part of Google’s Android Wear announcement. The simple fact that consumers knew it’d be available later this year was enough to get many of them to hold out for the wearable they want, instead of the wearable that’s available.
It’s a lesson that Samsung continues to learn (or at least that it should be learning): just because you’re first to market with a product doesn’t guarantee sales. Samsung is arguably the biggest maker of smartwatches in the world – but so far that has yet to translate into big sales numbers. Certainly, it’s rare to see someone wearing a Gear smartwatch in the real world. The same likely won’t be said once Apple’s wearable hits the market.