The Apple Watch will be available on Friday, April 24, in Australia, at prices ranging from $499 to $1629 with a special Edition starting at $14,000.
After months of speculation Apple has announced that Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US will also be able to but the Watch as of that date.
The watch was formally launched at an event in San Francisco where Apple CEP Tim Cook, spruiked the new and most important addition to Apple's canon.
“Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.”
“Conceived, designed and developed as a singular product, Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “In Apple Watch, we’ve created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalisation in a wearable device.”
Apple Watch introduces revolutionary technologies including the Digital Crown, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access relevant controls. The all-new Taptic Engine delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.
Ovum principal analayst, consumer services and payments, Eden Zoller, said, "If anyone can create a buzz around a new product then it is Apple but when it comes to smart watches it will have its work cut out. In Ovum’s 2014 Consumer Insights survey only 15% of respondents said they had any plans to buy a smart watch in the next six to 24 months.
"Apple will have to change this mind set if it wants the Apple Watch to be successful, and next to beautiful design, clever applications will be a critical means to achieve this. Apple Pay is intended to figure in this equation, but although the m-payment application appears to be enjoying early success on the iPhone 6, it will not necessarily follow the same trajectory on the Apple Watch.
"The prospect of wearables, smart watches or otherwise, becoming a mainstream platform for m-commerce is debatable. The most immediate problem is lack of scale, not helped by steep price points and a perception among consumers that wearables are still novelty products. Wearables are a challenging environment for developers as the market is fragmented, while wearables present completely new form factors and usage scenarios. Wearable devices will ultimately have a more narrowly defined m-commerce remit than smartphones and tablets, and be best suited to lower value “tap and go” mobile proximity payments, for example in travel and transit."
Here are the details on the new watch as provided by Apple.
Incredibly Accurate and Customisable Timepiece
An extremely precise timepiece, Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard. Apple Watch can be personalised with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face. Apple Watch goes beyond telling time with specialised functions on the watch face —known in watchmaking as complications—such as the sunrise/sunset, upcoming calendar events or daily activity level. With multiple customisable watch faces and complications, Apple Watch enables millions of possible configurations. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you’re listening to.
Intimate & Immediate Communication Device
Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap so you won’t miss important notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows users to communicate in all-new ways by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat. They can interact quickly and conveniently with the world around them by paying for coffee using Apple Pay (US only)**, boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.
Groundbreaking Health and Fitness Companion
Apple Watch encourages users to sit less, move more and get some exercise every day. The Activity app provides a simple visual snapshot of daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics yneededuring dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch smartly uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalised activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.
Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three distinct collections—Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features a lightweight anodised aluminium case in silver and space grey with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colours. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.
The world’s developer community has been creating all-new experiences specifically designed for Apple Watch. From requesting an Uber to checking in to your American Airlines flight, the possibilities for Apple Watch apps are endless. These experiences extend the functionality of your favourite iPhone apps, while delivering an innovative way to interact - right from your wrist. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets users browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store.
Designed to be worn throughout your day, Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour all-day battery life*** and comes with a unique charging solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that simply snaps into place.
By design, the shopping experience for Apple Watch will be the most personalised Apple has ever offered. When Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/au) on Friday, April 10, Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering customers the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.
Pricing and Availability
Beginning April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, Apple Watch will be available for preview, try-on by appointment at Apple’s retail stores, and available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/au).
On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers in China and Japan. Customers who purchase online or in-store from Apple will be offered Personal Setup to customise and pair Apple Watch with their iPhone.
Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at recommended retail price $499 and $579 inc; Apple Watch, available from recommended retail price $799 to $1629 ; and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with a recommended retail price starting from $14,000
Starting today customers can explore and choose their favourite Apple Watch in the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/au) or through the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad.
Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.