Apple Watch: details, release date, prices

Apple’s highly anticipated new bit of technology is on its way, set to tackle the wrist market with an app-focused extension of the company’s ecosystem.

Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will be available from April 24 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US.

“Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said with the official announcement.

“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.”

Apple is boasting the use of Digital Crown technology with their watch, which is set to provide a way for users to scroll, zoom and navigate without display obstruction. The watch will be able to sense the difference between a tap and press and the “Taptic Engine” will deliver a small vibration of sorts whenever a notification or message comes through.

The company is pushing their watch as a health and fitness companion, giving users the opportunity to monitor their daily activity with the Activity app. Readings include the amount of active calories burned, the amount of ‘brisk activity’ taken on, and the amount of times one gets up from sitting at that desk. The Workout app includes an accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi, the latter two of which work with the iPhone, in order to give users an overall picture of physical activity and workouts.

The watch is ultimately made to be an extension of the iPhone. Messages and emails can be read, and even calls to the iPhone can be answered, from the watch. In the States (for now), customers will be able to pay for purchases by wrist, using Apple Pay.

Of course, despite the many features, the Apple Watch is a watch, and users will be able to personalise their watch face from a few options. Watch faces range from analog to digital (Modular) options, while special functions – such as calendar events, sunrise/sunset times – add further customisable options.

A simple upwards swipe will allow users to check out the weather forecast, their current map location, or the music they’re listening to.

Those with older iPhones will need to upgrade if they want to sync it with the watch. The Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later.

The Apple Watch will be available in three different models: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. All watches are offered in two different sizes: 38 mm and 42 mm.

The Sport will be the cheapest of the three, the introductory version coming with a AUD$499 price tag for the 38 mm size and AUD$579 for the 42 mm option. It’s available in 10 different models.

The Apple Watch will be the middle-of-the-road choice, costing AUD$799 at its recommended retail price for the 38 mm size and AUD$879 for the 42 mm version. This one comes in 20 different models.

Now, for those looking to put in some serious dough, the Apple Watch Edition, all 8 models of which come with 18-carat cases, will set you back AUD$14,000 for the two cheapest models and an eyebrow-raising AUD$24,000 for the most expensive. Don’t expect all stores to be carrying these versions, so do your research if you want to fork out the big bucks.

Pre-orders will be available from April 10.

Related Stories