The Apple Watch is arguably the company’s biggest launch in years.The upcoming wearable, expected to go on sale in April, is the first all-new product category for Apple since the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Some six months after unveiling the device, CEO Tim Cook is getting ready to take the stage and give the world more details. On Monday in San Francisco, Apple is holding a “Spring Forward” event, presumably to update press and consumers about the device’s imminent launch. Until then, here’s everything we know so far:
The event is Monday, March 9 at 10AM PST / 1PM ET. As it usually does, Apple sent out invites to the media ahead of time with a little tease about the subject matter at hand. “Spring Forward,” as the invite reads, is a joke about the recent time change and telling time.
It’s not just technology, it’s a piece of jewelry. As TIME’s hands-on with the Watch last year made clear, even more so than an iPhone or iPad, the Watch is a luxury item the company wants people to display on their bodies proudly.
Jonathan Ive is really into it. Apple’s chief designer was recently profiled extensively by the New Yorker. He went on at length about the gadget’s design and “integrity.”
Tim Cook is also excited about the device. No surprise, this is the first all-new product the company has release since Cook became CEO. He’s been traveling the world, letting details of what the Watch can do slip to Apple Store employees he’s briefed.
It runs apps much like an iPhone. Though it packs less processing power, the Watch will run apps from a variety of software developers just like other iOS devices. Many of them have been toiling away in a secret lab on Apple’s campus to get ready.
Seriously, it does a lot. For a full list of features, check out this compendium.
Apps use touch and scroll. The device has highly sensitive touch screen as well as a so-called “digital crown” for scrolling through longs lists. This is what some of the apps will be like to use on the device.
It will be highly customizable. The Watch comes in multiple metals like gold and aluminum with a variety interchangeable straps. This configurator lets enthusiasts see what the different combinations will look like.
It will be expensive (possibly very expensive). Apple said the basic model would start at $349 last fall. But estimates for higher-end models made of more luxurious materials range anywhere from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands. One after-market company is already promising a $75,000 version.
All the kinks haven’t been worked out. One of the most intriguing revelations in a recent Wall Street Journal story was that the company started out with some grand ambitions about what the Watch could do in terms of monitoring users’ health. But challenges during development forced the company to scale the first version back.
Battery life will be an issue. Cook claimed his Watch lasted a full day on a charge. But, just in case, it will come with a low-power mode simply for telling the time.
You can wear it in the shower. Or so CEO Tim Cook has said.
It will have plenty of competition. Google is pushing its own version of wearables, but so far they haven’t proven very popular.
It’s going to add a lot of revenue to Apple’s bottom line. The company’s stock is likely to benefit even from relatively modest sales.
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