Apple's Spring Forward event saw the launch of a new MacBook that greatly departs from the typical image of a notebook, the launch of iOS 8.2, and most importantly, the announcement of several details about the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple revealed the Apple Watch at their October event last year, but several things about it have remained a mystery until today. 

While Apple showed off some of the Apple Watch's abilities at their earlier event, their demos from today went more in depth. Apple made note of the fact that the watch is accurate to within 50ms of UTC, which is probably a higher level of accuracy than most people will ever need, but it may increase appeal to those who value the accuracy of their watch. Apple also demonstrated its communication abilities, and showed how users can communicate using pictures drawn on the watch, voice dictated messages, audio recordings, and their heartbeat. 

The role of third party developers in expanding the abilities of Apple Watch was also highly emphasized. Apple demoed an app from CNN that reports headlines to users, and also made note of the availability of an Uber application.

There have also been several questions unrelated to the Apple Watch's software and abilities. The biggest area of concern up until this point has been battery life. The battery capacity for wearable devices is almost always constrained due to the limited space available. There has been a great deal of speculation about whether or not the Apple Watch will last through an entire day, and whether it will need to be charged every night like a smartphone is. At the event, Apple revealed that the expected battery life for the Apple Watch will be somewhere in the realm of 18 hours. This means that it should last a user through the day, but that charging every night will be a necessity unless the watch has hardly been used.

Apple Watch Pricing
Pricing Apple Watch Sport Apple Watch Apple Watch Edition
38mm Low $349 $549 $10,000
38mm High $349 $1040 $17,000
42mm Low $399 $599 $12,000
42mm High $399 $1099 $15,000

The second big question was about pricing. Apple Watch is by far Apple's most customizable product to date, and the number of combinations of bands and models and sizes is enormous. Because of this, Apple only provided price ranges for each model. At the October event the starting price for the Sport model was revealed to be $349, and this has not changed. That price is for the 38mm size, while the 42mm size bumps the price up to $399. The steel and sapphire Apple Watch will start at $549, and go all the way to $1099 for the most expensive model which is the 42mm body and the link bracelet. Finally, the Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000, and goes up to $17,000 for the models with the red leather band and gold buckle. All of the bands are also available for purchase separately, and so users can outfit the Apple Watch Sport with a nicer band than the fluoroelastomer one it comes with. The pricing for the bands ranges from $50 to $500, and you can take a look at all of them on Apple's website.

The final question is obviously about availability. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order on April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.  Users can also make appointments at select Apple Stores to preview and try on the watch.

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  • Samus - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    I'm surprised with how "exercised focused" the Apple Watch is they didn't include a kinetic or solar drive like Citizen and Timex have used for decades. "Ecodrive" wouldn't charge the watch, but it would help improve the battery life quite while working out. My wife has an old Citizen that gets a week charge from 15 minutes of walking, and this is 1990's technology. The watch is also tiny (28mm dial, 5mm thick) so I assume the charging mechanism is pretty small.
  • Urizane - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    About mechanical (kinetic) charging mechanisms: That takes space (and therefor, capacity) from the battery that can't be appreciably recouped by charging the watch via exercise. The difference in power requirements of a well-tuned regular watch vs. a smart watch are enormous. Besides, it would mean that Apple expects 90% or more of the customers to actually exercise. Good luck with that.

    Solar, on the other hand, could make sense. That is, if they could work solar charging into the back layers of the display. It would seem impossible to have both a bright display while simultaneously able to absorb light from the, no.
  • coder543 - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    So... have you looked at the Pebble, Pebble Steel, Pebble Time, or Pebble Time Steel? 7 to 10 days of battery life is entirely normal, and their e-paper-like reflective LCD displays allow them to read in direct sunlight with ease.
  • coder543 - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    to be read*

    Why is there no edit button in 2015?
  • lilmoe - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    I have, but I was hoping for a proper smart watch with a better ecosystem if that makes any sense. I'm looking closely at what they'll have next. Would love a Pebble running Android Wear.
  • cmdrdredd - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    You can get a better watch than Apple offers for thousands less than they ask. They're mad.

    The sport model is the only one which is priced even somewhat close to where it should be.
  • lilmoe - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    15000 smaks! This better have some diamonds on it because I'm sure it ain't worth its weight in gold!
  • cmdrdredd - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    As a bonus Google announced that Android Wear will be able to sync with iOS. So you can use the Moto 360 with your iPhone soon.
  • Laxaa - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    The starting price for the "Edition"(stupid, stupid name) is insane. I saw someone touting online that it probably wouldn't cost more than $2500. I guess they were wrong.

    I also think it looks a bit overcomplicated. You have the touchscreen, "force touch" and the crown for navigation. As well as an extra button for bringing up your friends list. Doesn't seem as intuitive as the iPhone did when it came out.
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    That's actually really cheap, for a luxury gold watch.

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