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The Apple Watch release date has been confirmed

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will launch in April, revealed in the company's quarterly report conference call.

Cook's comments are the first official release date news for the Apple Watch, following a leaked retail email claiming the Apple Watch would come sometime in spring 2015.

There were worries the bankruptcy of GT Advanced - Apple's major sapphire crystal supplier - would slow Apple's early production of the smartwatch.

But, having found a new supplier, it looks like Taiwanese and Chinese production companies are on top of the 2015 release date. Apple has reportedly ordered 30 million units and Samsung will be the main supplier for the S1 chipset.

Apple has been pumping talent into the retail and health sectors in preparation for the Apple Watch launch, acquiring the CEO of Burberry Angela Ahrendts for $70 million (£46 million) and Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer director Jean-Claude Biver.

In retail stores, Apple will sell the smartwatch similar to any fashion accessory and tailor its 'Genius' staff to keep light on the technology details and force the issue of beauty, quality, and in the case of the Apple Watch Edition limited, availability.

It could work for Apple, considering its brand is the most popular worldwide and it already sells iPhones and iPads at a massive profit per unit.

Analysts are mixed on the success of the Apple Watch, some claiming it will bring smartwatches into the mainstream, others claiming it could be Apple's first hardware failure.

It will change the smartwatch market, with Apple's digital crown for zoom and new UI looking like interesting ideas for wearables not used on Android Wear.

Apple Watch will start at $349 (£229), but the stainless steel option might cost up to $999 (£657) according to some reports.

The 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition may cost up to $10,000 (£6,577), but neither of these reports have been verified by Apple.