Apple Inc. has now set a definitive date when consumers can get their hands on the Apple Watch, its first smartwatch and the tech giant's first new product line since the iPad. Starting April 10, Apple fans will have the chance to order the Watch, and starting April 24 they will be available from stores.
The new smartphone will feature digital touch, which allows users to communicate via sketches and animations. Further, pop-ups will provide quick notifications of weather, flight information and traffic, among other things.
The smartphone comes in three models. The aluminum Apple Watch Sport starts at $349, while the price for an Apple Watch Sport with a slightly larger face is $399. The stainless steel version, known as the Apple Watch Collection, will cost $549, or $599 for one with a slightly larger face. Depending on choice of band, it could run as high as $1,099.
The 18-karat Apple Watch Edition will come in at $10,000, contrary to several estimates that pegged the watch at $5,000. However, unlike the two less-expensive models, it will only be available in select retail stores, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The company hinted at this in the weeks leading up to its “Spring Forward” event when it was setting up booths in high-end fashion retailers in Paris and London.
Potential customers can preview the Apple Watch now through the company’s website. They also can get their first glimpse of an actual Apple Watch in a store through tables fitted with an embedded glass display, much like the ones seen in the Colette boutique during Paris Fashion week. Following preorders, Apple will begin shipping the Watch on April 24.
The first markets to get the Apple Watch are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. More markets will be added later.
A number of big names have committed to creating apps for the smartwatch, which is expected to have a battery life of 18 hours with average use, including Starwood, Facebook, WeChat, ESPN and Instagram.