The Apple Watch isn’t even available for pre-order until Friday (April 10) and doesn’t hit retail for another two weeks on April 24. But attentive viewers of The Voice Monday night (April 6) noticed coach Pharrell Williams was among the first to be spotted publicly wearing the gadget, on the same day that Apple CEO Tim Cook was seen wearing one at the NCAA Championship Game in Indianapolis.
Making the connection even more explicit? Pharrell posted a video to his Instagram later Monday night showing off his Apple Watch up-close with an animated, toe-tapping Mickey Mouse.
Why would Pharrell in particular have a sneak-peek at Apple’s anticipated product? Consider the fact that he’s among the artists in talks to be involved with the forthcoming relaunch of Beats Music -- expected in June, according to sources who spoke to Billboard last week -- and one of the few heavyweight artists not affiliated with Jay Z's superstar launch of Tidal. Pharrell has a history with pre-Apple Beats Electronics, having starred in a late 2013 commercial for the Beats By Dre Pill that contributed to the song’s rank as Billboard’s No. 1 Hot 100 song of 2014.
Apple Watch’s April 26 launch will no doubt generate heavy store traffic at local Apple Stores, but Angela Ahrendts, senior vp of Apple’s retail and online sales, said in a company memo that leaked Tuesday (April 7), “The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers,” instead encouraging Apple Store managers to drive customers toward the Apple Store app and online store.