The Apple Watch will have more than 1,000 applications when it goes on sale later this month, as eager developers scramble to tap into Apple's latest goldmine.

An email sent to Apple staff from chief executive Tim Cook said developers submitted over 1,000 Watch applications in the first four days of the company accepting apps for its upcoming wearable gadget. Rather than stand-alone programmes, apps created for Watch are bundled in the iOS App Store with their iPhone or iPad equivalent.

Cook also said Apple employees will get a 50% discount on the Watch and Watch Sport, reducing the price to £148.50 for the entry-level Sport model. Employees wanting to buy the gold Watch Edition, which starts at $10,000, will receive a $550 discount.

Sent on 6 April and published by 9to5Mac, Cook's email reads: "The day we've all been waiting for is almost here: Apple Watch is ready to ship. On Friday [10 April], in over four hundred stores across four continents, we'll open our doors to people who want to try on Apple Watch. More than one thousand apps were submitted in just four days last week when the App Store started accepting them, and the rate of Submissions has only been climbing since then."

Employee discounts will begin when Apple starts taking pre-orders for the Watch on 10 April, and will last for 90 days. Apple provided complimentary iPhones to a large number of its employees when the first model went on sale in 2007, but did not offer discounts on the first iPad three years later, so this news marks a return to generous form for Apple, as far as its employees are concerned.

From 10 April, customers will be able to try on and pre-order the Apple Watch in stores around the world, including in London, where Apple is opening a new branch dedicated to Watch in the Selfridges department store. The Watch will then go on sale two weeks later, on 24 April.