When Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the Apple Watch on Monday, the device will likely already be loaded with apps from the likes of Facebook, BMW and United Airlines. That's because Apple has been giving secret access to companies to allow them to make third-party apps ahead of the launch, according to a report from Bloomberg.
But they're not the only ones developing apps for Apple's first smartwatch. Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are creating their own social media apps for the highly anticipated wearable. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is reportedly creating an app that can unlock hotel room doors. And ESPN is developing its own app for game notifications. Beyond them, Apple also has 380,000 members of its developer program that can potentially create apps through its WatchKit tools.
The smartwatch is the first new product category from Apple since Cook took over as CEO in 2011. Analysts expect it to be a hit, with sales of 8 million to 30 million Apple Watches expected in its first year. In comparison, analysts projected the iPad to sell around 3.3 million units in 2010. But it went on to sell 14.8 million units in its first year, according to AllThingsD.
Pricing for the Apple Watch will start at $349 for the Sports model, with the 18-karat gold model to start anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. Apple is expected to answer that question and more when it hosts its Spring Forward press event March 9 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, where the smartwatch is likely to be the focus.