On Monday Apple made its long-awaited announcement about the Apple Watch. Anticipation has been growing since September when Apple first showed off its mini-computer you wear on your wrist.
Apple’s announcement demonstrated many of the cool features of the watch, most of which were revealed in September. The biggest news about the Watch was the pricing and the availability date.
The Apple comes in two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and three different models:
- Apple Watch
The Sport Watch comes in aluminum with colored rubberized bands. The Apple Watch is made from steel and the Edition is encased in 18k yellow or rose gold.
The battery will be charged via a magnetic cable that snaps to the back of the Watch. Battery life was revealed to be 18 hours of normal use.
The Watch will connect to the iPhone and relies on that connection for many features including maps, GPS, notifications and phone calls.
Features of the Apple Watch include a Retina display, animated images, a wide choice of watch faces, and the ability to send drawings, vibrations and your heartbeat to friends. You’ll be able to use your Watch with Apple Pay, to display an airline boarding pass, and to unlock your hotel room door.
If you’re the type of person who pulls their phone out dozens of times a day, you’ll appreciate the convenience of getting notifications on your wrist. You’ll be able to feel a notification as the Watch vibrates and quickly glance down to see what’s going on.
The Watch can show you tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook updates and more. You can see when a call is coming in and even answer the call from your wrist. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple is clearly a Dick Tracy fan and is making fiction a reality by letting us use our Watches as phones.
The Watch can monitor your fitness, keeping track of your workouts and how long you’ve been sitting at one time. The Watch can notify you when it’s time to get moving, giving you added incentive to be active.
Prices for the Apple Watch are based on the model, size of the watch and the selection of bands:
- $349 for the 38mm
- $399 for the 42mm
- $549 – $1049 for the 38mm
- $599 – $1099for the 42mm
- $10,000 – $17,000
The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order beginning April 10. On that date you will be able to try out the Watch at Apple stores.
April 24 is the official launch date of the Apple Watch in: USA, UK, Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan.
You can find out more information at the Apple Watch website.
Will the Apple Watch Sell?
The Apple Watch will sell well to die-hard Apple fans but to be truly successful it has to appeal to the general public. Wearables haven’t taken off yet, but Apple is known for recreating a market, as it did with tablets and the iPad, smartphones and the iPhone, and MP3 players and the iPod.
The biggest surprise was that the price range goes up to $10,000 as a starter price for the Apple Edition Watch. That price is quite steep for technology that may be obsolete in a year. Even if the inner workings of the Edition Watch can be replaced, next year’s Watch will probably be thinner and sleeker than this year’s Edition model.
Most of what the Apple Watch can do is based on apps that already exist on the iPhone already. Will people be convinced to wear a smart watch to get notifications?
So far the answer is No, even with less expensive smart watches such as the Pebble watch. The Pebble watch was launched two years ago and has sold 1 million watches, which is very successful for a start up company, but not for Apple.
So there has to be a killer app, such as Apple Pay or a health app, that gives the Apple Watch an advantage. If Apple delivers unique and useful features then people may be willing to pay a premium for the Apple Watch and make it a success.
Apple is also promoting the Watch as a fitness tracker. But people who play racquet sports may not want to wear a watch and may prefer a traditional fitness band. Runners may not want to have their iPhones close by to use the GPS feature.
If people just want a fitness tracker there are less available alternatives that may be a better fit for their sport. But the Apple Watch may succeed in spite of its limitations as a fitness tracker for all sports because of its many useful features.
As with the iPhone and iPad, apps will probably drive the success of the Apple Watch. If developers flock to the Watch, then its functionality will expand exponentially. If you could use a voice command to park your car, close the garage door, unlock your house and turn on your lights, well that would be pretty cool. So far, the Watch can do all of that, except park your car and that feature is getting closer.
Plenty of people have bet wrong when they underestimated Apple. Many hurdles stand in the way of the Apple Watch succeeding. But if any company can overcome those hurdles, it’s most likely Apple with its track record of success.
Are you excited about the Apple watch? Do you think it will be a hit or miss for Apple? Is there an Apple Watch in your future? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below!
Carolyn is still away from the Internet and wrote this article using her iPhone on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. She will return on Monday, March 16 to respond to comments. Articles will continue to be posted here at The Wonder of Tech while she’s away.