Make calls, read email, control music, manage Instagram photos, keep up with your workout, pay for groceries, open your hotel room door. CEO Tim Cook says you can do it all from your wrist with Apple Watch — for 18 hours a day. That’s how long the battery will last on an average day.
Pre-orders start April 10. In Canada, the devices will range from $449 to as much as $22,000 for a luxury edition. Industry watchers are eager to see if Apple’s version will be the tipping point for the sluggish smartwatch market. There was similar skepticism when Apple released the iPad in 2010, yet the company has successfully sold millions and its popularity has shaken up the PC market.
The stakes are high for a company that just dislodged AT&T as one of the 30 stocks comprising the venerable Dow Jones industrial average. The watch is the first brand-new device Apple has launched without Steve Jobs.
Apple is entering a market in which numerous tech companies are already selling smartwatches, from the Samsung Gear and Motorola’s Moto 360 to the Pebble Steel and other models made by smaller startups. Many run on Android Wear, the software platform from Google. They range in price from $100 to $500 or more, but most don’t have as many features as the Apple Watch, and they have not been big hits with consumers.
Cook directed Apple’s big event Monday in San Francisco, unveiling a shiny, skinny and silent MacBook weighing in at just two pounds that the company says is the world’s most energy-efficient laptop. Apple also has unveiled a new deal between Apple TV and HBO, touted growth in iPhone sales and Apple Pay adoption, and announced a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centres develop apps for patients.
It cut the price of Apple TV and is partnering with HBO to offer its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Go, on Apple devices in time for the “Game of Thrones” premiere April 12. It will cost $14.99 monthly. Cook said 2,500 banks are now signed up with Apple Pay, which is available in 700,000 retail locations nationwide.
The watches are available in two sizes, with 38-millimetre and 42-millimetre bodies.
The Apple Watch Sport is priced at $449 and $519 in Canada, the mid-range Apple Watch is priced between $699 and $1,459 depending on the style of band, and Apple Watch Edition models start at $13,000.
by Anick Jesdanun