Apple Watch models
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The Apple Watch will go on sale by the end of March, with retail staff being trained on how to use the new wearable in February.

Employees from Apple Stores across the US will be sent to company offices in Cupertino and Texas to take part in an extensive training programme teaching them how to use the smartwatch and how to show off its features to the public. Sources speaking to 9to5Mac say training will take place between February 9 and 16.

The sources also say the watch will go on sale in the US before the end of March, providing there are no delays, leading us to assume mass production in China will kick off very soon. Since its announcement in September, Apple has been working to improve the watch's all-important battery life and tweak the inductive charging mechanism used to top it up each night.

Months of testing could see Apple squeeze two full days out of the watch's small battery - matching the stamina of the Sony SmartWatch 3 - but instead it is likely to last just one day, putting it on par with most other smartwatches.

The Apple Watch will be sold in three different versions, each offered in two sizes and with a number of distinct strap designs. So far Apple has only revealed the $349 starting price of the basic model, while rumours claim a mid-range model will cost around $500 and the range-topping Edition, made from gold, will costs several thousand dollars.

A price and release date for the UK isn't yet known, although we'd expect the watch to arrive here at the same time as the US, or just a few weeks later.