The countdown is on for the release of Apples Smartwatch, with pre-orders beginning April 10. The watch will start selling on April 24 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Like most of the Smartwatches currently available, the Apple watch will be able to make calls, read email, control music and manage Instagram photos. But unlike those currently available, the Apple watch will also present news, pay for groceries, open your hotel room door and keep up with your workout. It will have a heart rate monitor and accelerometer, and an internal motor that can signal the wearer with a subtle "tap" on the wrist. The fitness features include a reminder to start moving when you’ve been sitting for too long. The watch has an 18hour battery life across a range of activities and charges with a magnetic charger that clicks into place when it’s near the back of the watch
It also comes with Siri and Apple Pay built in. Apple Pay mobile-payment service has expanded to 2,500 banks with six credit-card issuing banks in the U.S. While the number of merchants accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000 across the US.
There are three variations of the watch available. The cheapest being the Sport model, aimed at fitness enthusiast. It will cost $349 for the smaller, 38-millimeter model and $399 for the larger, 42-millimeter model. There will be choices of colours and bands. The next tier is the stainless steel edition starting at $549 and going up to $1,049 for the smaller model, depending on the selection of watch band. The larger model will range from $599 to US$1,099. And for those with money to burn, there’s the Apple Watch Edition - the luxury model with 18-karat gold - available in limited quantities at select retail stores, for a price of US$10,000.
Apple also is releasing an update to its iOS software for iPhones on Monday that includes an Apple Watch app. But you won't be able to use it yet, you can however, see some of the customization options and other features to come.
The watch will be the first brand-new device Apple has launched without the late Steve Jobs.
How the Apple Watch will do on the market is in hot debate. Those in the know are saying most smartwatches - including Apple's - only work with a smartphone nearby, so you can't swap one expensive gadget for the other. But with the Apple brand name, it could mark the beginning of a Smartwatch takeover.