As expected, today during its Spring Forward event, Apple provided the masses with more details about its upcoming smartwatch, including the release date and further details on pricing. The company also showed off more features that apparently weren’t ready to unveil at the first showing of the Apple Watch this past fall.
Apple Watch’s pricing and availability
As expected, the Apple Watch will be available for preorders on April 10 and purchase on April 24. The company took down its online store this morning in preparation to add the Apple Watch to the site. Undoubtedly analysts will be paying close attention to the delivery times to see how well Apple is able to keep up with demand and try to gauge just how much demand there is for the new smartwatch.
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Apple already said in the fall that the least expensive model of the Apple Watch will cost $349 and feature aluminum and glass with a plastic band. That price is for the 38-millimeter size. The 42-millimeter starter model begins at $399. Of course there are plenty of opportunities for the company to shake even more money out of consumers’ piggy banks, so to speak, by talking them into purchasing multiple bands for the watch.
The 38-millimeter mid-range Apple Watch with stainless steel starts at $540 and goes up to $1,049, depending on which band is selected. The 42-millimeter watch starts out at $599.
The price for the Apple Watch goes all the way up to—get this—a starter price of $10,000 for the 18-karat gold model. Yes, that’s the cheapest gold model, which means there are some models that are more expensive than that. CEO Tim Cook said supply of these Edition models is limited.
Apple Watch uses premium metals
Apple really played up the quality of the metals it used in the Apple Watch, emphasizing that the aluminum it used isn’t “ordinary” aluminum. And so on, and so forth, with the metals getting their own videos to explain the technology behind them.
Clearly management’s got to convince consumers to pay a premium for Apple’s smartwatch, which starts out more expensive than competitors’ smartwatches and climbs all the way up into the thousands for the gold model.
Other features of the Apple Watch
The other big piece of news consumers have anxiously been waiting for is details on the battery life of the smartwatch. Apple management said the battery will last up to a day or 18 hours, which puts it in line with the battery life of other smartwatches that are on the market.
They also showed off a sketch feature which allows wearers to draw a sketch on the watch and have it appear on someone else’s Apple Watch. Wearers can also tap on their watch to get a friend’s attention or send their heartbeat
The Apple Watch also has a pretty heavy focus on health and wellness. Recently CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch will also encourage wearers to get up and move around more by tapping them on the wrist to encourage movement, but that’s not all it does in the health category.
The smartwatch also tracks the wearer’s daily activity, estimate how many calories they are burning and send them weekly reports about their activity levels. Apple also added a Workout app to track exercise like running or biking and other activities.
Shares of Apple edged upward by as much as 0.6% to $127.36 per share before the company’s big event today and then spiked during the event before slipping slightly. As of this writing, the stock was up by 0.42% at $127.13 per share.