Everything We Know About the Apple Watch So Far

4 minute read

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.

11 Amazing Features of the Apple Watch

File picture shows an Apple Watch during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Apple Watch is the company's' first entirely new product category since the original iPad. It's a huge gamble for Apple and a test of the still-nascent wearable market.Stephen Lam—Reuters/Corbis
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch is the most customizable and varied product Apple has likely ever launched. It'll come in three editions made of different metals and be available with multiple snap-in wrist bands. Prices start at $349.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch has a touch interface that can sense the difference between a light touch and hard press. But it also has a "digital crown" that allows users to quickly scroll through lists without obscuring the screen.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook wears the Apple Watch and shows the iPhone 6 Plus during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Watch must be paired with an iPhone for many of its functions. The device piggybacks on the phone's data and GPS connections to pipe in directions or incoming voice calls and text messages, for instance.Stephen Lam—Reuters
New Apple Watch is pictured during an Apple event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino
The Watch, like Apple's other iDevices, will have various independent apps. Examples include a Tesla app that shows the status of your electric car when it's charging and a Starwood app that lets the Watch act as your room key.Stephen Lam—Reuters
An Apple Watch is shown during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
Apple's fitness app, one of the device's main selling points, tracks runs, walks and bike rides.Stephen Lam—Reuters
Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Watch also can track your heart rate (while resting, while active) throughout the day thanks to these light sensors on the back.Koichi Mitsui—AFLO/Corbis
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
It also has Apple Pay, the company's digital payments platform. Swipe the Watch in front of a compatible kiosk and it will make an automatic online payment.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
CEO Tim Cook has said the Watch will last about a day before it needs to be recharged. So far, battery life has been the biggest downside of most wearables. The Watch recharges through the magnetic system shown here.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch will come with many customizable bands that slip on and click in place at the top and bottom of the device's body.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple introduces Apple Watch
It also comes in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm, to fit on different size wrists.Monica Davey—EPA
Apple Watch is shown on screen during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertin
Higher-end models of the watch could cost several thousands of dollars.Stephen Lam—Reuters
Apple Unveils New iPad Models
Apple is significantly expanding it's product reach.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Inc. Reveals Bigger-Screen iPhones Alongside Wearables
And there's one more thing...David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images
Tim Cook
It tells the time.Marcio Jose Sanchez—AP

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com