Apple Watch

The long-awaited Apple Watch will begin shipping in April, Apple confirmed today.

CEO Tim Cook made the announcement during a Tuesday earnings call with investors. He did not provide an exact shipping date, or provide details on pricing. Cupertino has said that the Apple Watch will start at $349, but it comes in three versions, and the high-end luxury “Edition” watch will likely retail for much more.

Cook did say that he is “using it every day…and can’t live without it.” Apple is “making great progress on the development” of Apple Watch, and “the number of developers that are writing apps for it are impressive.”

Not surprisingly, meanwhile, Apple fans were very eager to get their hands on larger iPhones. Cupertino announced today that it sold a record 74.5 million iPhones during the fourth quarter.

That’s almost double the 39.3 million iPhones the company sold in the third quarter, though buyers were undoubltedly waiting for the fall launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple’s latest large-screen smartphones.

Cook said the iPhone 6 was the most popular iPhone, though he declined to break out exact numbers. Popularity varied by location, with some regions preferring the iPhone 6 Plus, for example, “so it’s something that’s not consistent,” he said.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” Cook said in a statement. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

After a bit of a slump in 2014, Apple sold 21.5 million iPads over the holiday quarter, up from 12.3 million in the previous quarter, though that was still lower than the 26 million it sold in the year-ago quarter.

Cook reiterated what he said last year about iPad sales, namely that buyers appear to be holding on their tablets longer than iPhones. He estimated, however, that upgrade cycles are probably somewhere between iPhone and Mac, though “we haven’t been in the business long enough to say that with certainty, ” he said.

There’s also probably a bit of cannibalization with people opting for the iPhone 6 Plus over the iPad.

First-time iPad buyer rates are “very high,” Cook said. In developed markets like the U.S., Japan, and the U.K., 50 percent of people are buying an iPad for the first time. That jumps to 70 percent in China, “so you don’t have a saturated market, he said.

Mac sales were relatively unchanged from the third quarter at 5.5 million, though that’s up from the 4.8 million it sold during the same time period last year.


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