The Apple Watch is one of the most sought-after devices on the market right now, and Apple has so far struggled to keep up. With a limited launch and lengthy waiting periods for delivery, the main saving grace from a company and consumer point of view is that all transactions have been processed online. The usual launch-week stampedes have been well and truly avoided, but on the flipside, you cannot just walk into your local Store and buy an Apple Watch. From next month, though, you will be able to.
Tim Cook recently ventured out to attend to Apple's business progress in China, and while there, shared a couple of key details relating to the wearable. Having already said at the earnings call in April that the month of June would prompt a wider release of the company's smartwatch, Cook has now also outlined Apple's intention to make the device available to purchase from Retail Stores.
Right now, you can go into any brick and mortar outlet and try the Watch on for size, but ordering is handled completely online. It's not a major inconvenience, but it remains critical to Apple that customers are eventually able to pay and walk out of a store with their shiny new gadget in hand, and at some point next month, a more traditional Apple Watch purchasing system should come into effect.
Speaking of adding more countries to the notably short list of retail nations, Cook has also set China in its sights. The Chinese market is a rapidly-emerging market in general, but in particular, for Apple, and so the company's leader also marked the occasion by confirming that the Watch will be headed to China next month. Neither Cook nor Apple in general have disclosed exactly which countries will see the Apple Watch in the second wave of releases, but we can be certain that China is the first official beneficiary on the list.
Cook also confirmed that Apple Pay is on its way to China, but when precisely that will be is another matter altogether. Apple has outlined its intention to push its contactless payment efforts farther afield this year, but as yet, there's no real ETA.
On the bright side, orders now seem to be shipping far more quickly than they were during the first weeks of the Apple Watch's existence, and the first Apple Watch software update has just been released without too much fuss. Watch OS 1.0.1 adds a number of fixes and improvements, as well as a stack of emoji first seen in iOS 8.3, and if you would like to check it out, please check our previous report, which covers the simple installation steps at the bottom.