Apple showed off the Apple Watch smartwatch at its special media event on Monday and answered many questions that have been hanging in the air ever since it was first shown off last September. To cut to the chase: You can see and pre-order them on April 10, they ship on April 24, and the gold model pricing really does start at US$10,000.
Apple Watch in stores on April 10, shipping on April 24
First, the details we already knew from last Septembers unveiling event: Apple Watch is a smartwatch that's works as an accessory for the iPhone, and includes a touch-based interface along with the ability to issue commands to Siri. The watch design includes a crown, called the Digital Crown, which adds functionality as an input device for the device's smaller screen.
Apple Watch includes sensors for tracking your pulse rate and can use GPS and WiFi data from your iPhone, along with other sensors, to build a comprehensive overview of your daily activity. It also suggests goals to help keep you on track with your fitness routine.
The smart watch lets users reply to messages, includes built-in Siri support for dictating messages, and sports its own version of Apple's Maps app with turn by turn directions. It also ses Passbook from your iPhone to show boarding passes when you travel, can check you into hotels and even act as your hotel room key at hotels that support the device.
Apple Watch includes fitness features designed to help track and improve your workout routine, or just your daily activity. It includes apps for tracking your workouts and goals, and adapts over time to your exersize style.
You can answer calls and text messages from Apple Watch, follow turn-by-turn directions, get up to date weather forecasts, and more. It also automatically sets itself to the correct time so you don't need to worry about remembering when you change time zones, or when Daylight Saving Time changes happen.
Apple Watch will be open to third party apps, which should make the device more useful in daily activities. Facebook notifications, for example, are available, hotels and airlines are looking at adding Apple Watch support to their reservation and check in system.
Several watch bands are available to fit your current activity, and they're easy to swap out.
Apple Watch Sport comes with an aluminium body and Ion-X touch surface, Apple Watch includes a stainless steel body and sapphire glass surface, and Apple Watch Edition comes with a gold body and sapphire glass surface.
Now for what's new from today's media event: Pricing for Apple Watch starts at $349 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model. The stainless steel Apple Watch ranges from $549 to $1049 for the 38mm model, based on which band you select. The 42mm model is priced from $599 to $1099. The stainless steel models offer the widest range of band choices.
The gold body Apple Watch Edition pricing is still a little vague with Apple CEO Tim Cook saying it starts at $10,000, and will be available "in select retail stores." He didn't say which retailers would be on that list, but a rumor that surfaced this morning suggests Nordstrom will be one of Apple's partners.
You can check out Apple Watch in Apple's retail stores starting on April 10, you can pre-order on April 10, and it starts shipping on April 24. Apple has new display cases designed just to show off the new smartwatch, and giving customers a couple weeks lead time to see Apple Watch before buying should help cut down on buying the wrong model.
Considering how much interest there is in Apple Watch, expect lots of chaos around the in-store displays—and start saving your pennies because April 10 is coming up fast.