Apple first announced its watch in September, but kept some details quiet. Today, in San Francisco, the company took another shot at it. There wasn't a lot more about the watch's functionality, Apple rehashed the use cases and apps that it hinted at last fall. But it did give some more specifics on price and availability. Here's what you need to know:
Price: From $350 to $17,000
We've known for months that the entry-level Apple Watch would cost $349. What we didn't know was how high Apple would push it. Pretty high, it turns out: The next tier runs from $550 to $1,100, depending on size and band choice, and the 24-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will start at $10,000. Apple blogger John Gruber correctly predicted that the most expensive version of the watch would cost more than $10,000, while others guessed that the company had set the expectations for pricing high in order to make a watch that cost, say, $5,000, seem like a bargain. There will be limited quantities of the gold watch available, and it won't be sold everywhere, although CEO Tim Cook didn't say what that meant, exactly.
In pricing the gold watch, Apple had a choice: make something so outrageously expensive that it alienated customers who couldn’t afford it or sell its highest-end watch at a price low enough to dampen its snob appeal. It went with outrageously expensive — there are two versions that cost $17,000. It is apparently not worried about alienating the 99 percent.
Apps: Hail an Uber, unlock your hotel room
Apple showed off some of the apps that will be available for the watch. An app from Uber can be used to summon a car. The Starwood Hotel's app can be used to unlock hotel rooms. The Alarm.com app lets users open their garage doors with the watch. To find watch apps, users go into the Apple Watch app available on iPhones running iOS 8.2, which is now available for download. Apple executives didn't say how many apps would be available at launch.
Battery life will be good enough
Or so Apple says. Cook disposed of the question about battery life in a few sentences, saying that it could last 18 hours in a typical day. This is less than other smartwatches on the market. Also, company claims of battery life are generally optimistic, and it has yet to be seen how much Apple's "typical day" resembles that of actual Apple Watch customers.
Apple Watch goes on sale April 24
After the price, the big news was when it will be available. Pre-orders start on April 10, and the watch will be on sale April 24. It will be available in the United States, as well as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.K.
One more thing ...
Tim Cook also went out of his way to note that the watch keeps excellent time. Very accurate. You'd hope so, wouldn't you?