The Apple Watch was announced some time ago, but Apple held out on a number of details. They specifically didn't mention how long the battery would last, how much each watch would cost, or when the Apple Watch would be available. When Tim Cook took the stage yesterday, he literally had something hidden up those long sleeves (isn't it warm in Southern California right now?). Tim Cook was wearing his Apple Watch, as I'm sure many Apple employees have been. Not only that, but Tim Cook figuratively had the facts up his sleeve. Yesterday, pricing, avaialbility, launch date, and eve battery life were discussed. Apple had some huge surprises in store for us, and the Apple watch will be on shelves (and wrists) sooner than you think.
One month from now, on April 10th, Apple will begin taking preorders on the new Apple Watch which will be released on April 24th. Buying something without seeing it is a tricky thing, and true of any preorders, but Apple has measures in place to put people at ease. First, Apple will have the Apple Watch in stores on the 10th. This means that people going in to the Apple Store to place their preorders will be able to try on different watches, figure out what finish they want, get the correct band size, and do the very necessary comparisons not only between models, but to competing watches as well. Apple Store employees will be there for every step, helping customers try on the watches and helping them figure out what model best suits their needs. Secondly, Apple also has sizing charts available online. These charts show how long each strap is, and if there are different sizes. They're based on the diameter of your wrist, although they also show the average ranges for both men and women, in case you dont have access to a flexible tape measaure.
On battery life, Apple released a figure that may disappoint some. The Apple Watch will last about one day, or 18 hours with moderately heavy usage. You will need to charge the Apple Watch every night, and if you have a particularly active day, you've been playing with it all day, or you stay up for more than 18 hours every day (college students, I'm looking at you), then you might find your Apple Watch dying mid-day. However, there was some good news. Unlike the Pebble, which simply displays a blank screen when the battery dies, the Apple Watch has power savings mode, another feature that may creep over to iOS. The power savings mode will shut down Bluetooth and WiFi, dim the brightness, and turn off a variety of features. One feature will remain, and it shouldn't surprise you that it's the ability to tell time. For a whopping 72 hours, the Apple Watch can remain in this power savings mode until users can get to a charger. Even users who can't get to a charger will find that their watches don't become useless after 18 hours, so there is some hope.
As previously reported, the Apple Watch has a number of other great features. It'll be water resistant, like the Pebble, and will feature app extensions from iOS devices. Essentially, users download an Apple Watch app using their iPhone and an extension of that app is loaded onto the watch. The Apple Watch will connect to an iPhone using both WiFi and Bluetooth, giving it excellent range, but better battery life when in close proximity to an iOS device. The Apple Watch also has a variety of other features, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometor, and even NFC, all of which can be used by the watch apps. The Apple Watch was shown unlocking hotel room doors, calling people, answering text messages with dictation and voice replies, and even calling an Uber car. The possibilities for the Apple Watch are endless, although it will be more limited than normal iOS apps in capabilities and features.
All collections of the Apple Watch will come with 8GB of internal storage. There will be limitations to how much the user has access to though. For starters, there's only 2GB dedicated to music storage and only 75mp for photos. Of course, due to the smaller display size, Apple will likely compress these images, so it's likely you'll be able to store more photos than you'd imagine. The rest of the storage is used by the system and applications. It doesn't sound like much, but Apple Watch apps will be small, and won't require a lot of storage. 8GB may be enough for most users, although we won't know for sure until people start using them.
Can't wait to get an Apple Watch? Who could blame you? The Apple watch will cost you at least $349 though. The first tier is the aluminum bodied Sport collection with a scratch resistant glass face. The smaller 38mm model costs $349, while the larger 42mm model will cost $399. Going up to the Apple Watch collection, with a stainless steel frame and sapphire display, the cost for the 38mm will start at $549 and the 42mm will cost $599. There will be a variety of watch bands, which will be capable of driving up the price to a maximum of $1,099 for a 42mm watch with the steel link bracelet watch strap. Then there's the 18K Gold Apple Watch Edition. Let me stop most of you right now, you cant afford it. In fact, you might have to be a 1%er to get your hands on the Apple Watch Edition. This beautiful gold watch starts at $10,000 for the 38mm watch with a rubber sport band. The 38mm rose gold case with a modern buckle watch band (pictured here) will be $17,000. That's the most expensive Apple Watch configuration, $17,000. Apple, the company that used to make products for “everyday people” just made a product only the wealthy can afford. Most people own cars that are less valuable than $17,000. I feel like Apple could have made a gold plated version, for the people who want a gold watch but don't have $17,000 to throw around, but that's not the case.
The new Apple Watch looks stunning, and is even making me question my backing of the Pebble Time. It's a highly funcitonal and beautiful device, with all day battery life, expandability through apps, and tons of features. As expected, the Apple Watch will be the one to beat for competitors, and may be the most lusted after watch model ever.