You may already be sick of hearing about the Apple Watch (Jonathan, our tech writer certainly is), but it’s created quite a buzz this week, from the people who intend to purchase one, to the other people who can’t see the point. The new smart watch goes on sale on April 24th
Opinions are mixed to say the least, but it’s certain to sell well, and as smart watches in general are a fledgling product category, why not try the tech first before jumping to conclusions. In five years time, we might all be asking how did we ever live without our smart watch!
Apple Watch unveiled, starts at $349, has an all day battery
Not that much was revealed that was already known from the September event, except for some new app demos, the requisite videos with Apple’s designer Sir Jony Ive talking over them, and the price.
It seems that the smaller 38 mm watch will start at $349 as previously stated, and another $50 for the slightly larger 42 mm version. That’s for the entry level model, the Apple Watch Sport.
The regular Apple Watch is made out of a special alloy of stainless steel, and comes with a variety of straps. The price ranges from around $549 to $1,099, but the real shock (though not for anyone that has been following it for a few months online) was the price for the solid gold Apple Watch Edition – that starts at around $10,000.
Thankfully, the battery life is claimed to be around 18 hours of regular use, but it does mean it will probably need a nightly charge if you’re a typical user.
Apple also highlighted that the wrist-worn device could be used to make touchless payments and receive phone calls, but the company also demonstrated other features such as:
- using the Watch as a means to open a compatible hotel room lock as an alternative to a key card
- checking the name of a song via the app Shazam
- opening an internet-connected garage door remotely
It was all very entertaining and looks like there will be lots of innovative uses once developers start releasing apps. For the moment, did Apple do enough to convince the public that it needs an Apple Watch? That’s debatable, but it’s likely to be one of those gadgets that when you try it, the deal is clinched.
We will have to wait and see for ourselves – the Apple Watch will be available initially in several markets including the US, UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Australia and Canada. As soon as we can get our hands on one (likely to be late April/early May), we’ll post a full review and let you know our first impressions.
As for the current smart watch market, this chart from Statisa.com shows that Samsung is currently the market leader, way ahead of nearest rival Pebble. If Apple sells more than 1.2 million smart watches this year, it will take the lead from Samsung…seems pretty likely to us.