The Apple Watch won’t hit stores until next year, but it looks like some Cupertino employees are already using their fancy new smartwatches out in the real world. 9to5Mac has rounded up a couple of Apple Watch sightings posted to Twitter earlier today, suggesting the company is already testing the device in public.
Saw a few Apple employees wearing the iWatch at a bus stop in mission. All were wearing the sport edition and carrying the iPhone six plus.
— Rohit J (@rohitjenveja) September 22, 2014
First gold Apple Watch spotted in the wild.
— Nate Chiger (@natechiger) September 13, 2014
There’s still no official word on how much these new smartwatches will cost beyond a promise that the cheapest models will start at $350. We’re guessing that’s the price for the Apple Watch Sport, though it could also refer to the standard Apple Watch as well. Meanwhile the 18 karat gold Apple Watch Edition could cost several thousand dollars according to some reports.
It’s no big surprise that we’re seeing the Apple Watch out in the wild, though it’s definitely a bit out of character for Apple. The company has always put a premium on secrecy and done its best to keep new products out of view until they’ve been officially announced. New iPhones and iPads generally launch just a week or so after their debut; That doesn’t give employees much time to show off the devices in public, but the Apple Watch won’t be released until 2015.
Other companies like Google call the practice of letting employees use unreleased products dogfooding. It’s never been something Apple has really embraced, at least not in public, but it looks like that might change with the Apple Watch. Hopefully the result is a final product without any glaring bugs or issues, though we won’t know that for sure until next year.