Apple Watch: All you need to know

It's the Apple Watch

It’s been exactly six months now since Apple announced the Watch – and will be another month and a half before you can buy one. With a pricing announcement today, Apple fueled the already burning hype.

Here’s all you need to know about the Apple Watch.

Yours for $17,000, the top-of-the-range Apple Watch

Yours for $17,000, the top-of-the-range Apple Watch

It’s a product that’s yet to reach the wrists of all but a very select few – but created a level of hype that other smartwatch vendors can only dream about.

Despite all the speculation, and “100% guaranteed” facts swirling on the web, Apple today managed a few surprises, with the official announcement of product specification and pricing.

There is a bewildering choice of 38 models – with Apple saying this allows for “a true expression of your personal taste”. It also gives the Cupertino-based company more opportunities to play with pricing. Unlike the iPhone, which comes in two basic sizes and a limited range of colors, Watch buyers will be able to differentiate themselves by the bling factor of their model.

Get ready to overhear things like: “Oh, you only got the small Sport … take a look at my stainless steel with the Milanese loop strap, it’s sooo much better”.

Here’s all you need to know about the new line-up of Apple Watch models:

  • The fairly utilitarian-looking Watch Sport is the basic model, starting at US $349 for the 38mm case and priced at $399 for the 42mm case, which is also said to have a longer battery life
  • The Apple Watch Edition line-up starts at a cool $10,000 and rises to $17,000 for the 18 Karat yellow gold edition – more expensive even than the Vertu range of luxo-smartphones
  • The mid-range stainless steel models are priced high, starting from $549 for the smaller model with a white plastic strap which looks out of place, with metal strap models costing an extra $100
  • Battery life is a “typical 18 hours”. Judging by claimed performance for iPhones against our own experiences, we expect this claim to mean just over half that under normal use … so you’ll be taking the watch on and off a lot
  • Yes there’s a heart-rate tracker, which is THE must-have feature for all new smartwatches and smart wristbands
  • There’s a lot of buzz around the first Apple-certified apps from third parties, with wrist versions of apps from Facebook, Instagram, and even Salesforce
  • To sync with a smartphone, you’ll need an iPhone 5 or later – no support for non-Apple models

Apple promises to have Watch models on show in its stores from April 10, and plans the first deliveries and in-store sales from April 24 onwards. We passed the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street earlier today and, so far, there’s no line outside … but it won’t be long, surely.


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