While it’s already been announced by Apple that the Apple Watch would start at $349, more details about the price of the new smartwatch and its release date have been revealed.
According to French website iGen, the stainless steel version of the Apple Watch will be priced at $500, while the gold model of the wearable could be priced anywhere between $4,000 and $5,000, which leaves the Apple Watch Sport edition as the cheapest $349 version.
The gold version is called the Apple Watch Edition, and it’s crafted from 18-karat gold, so buyers should expect the price tag to be fairly high.
Furthermore, iGen also says that the Apple Watch is expected to release on February 14. Previously, some rumors have suggested release timelines into February, while other sources stated a release date after Valentine’s Day.
However, Apple’s own Angela Ahrendts sent an internal message to Apple Store retail employees, saying that they should be prepared for a “new watch launch coming in the spring.” This goes slightly against what Apple has stated in the past, quoting an “early 2015″ release on its website, but considering that spring starts on March 20 next year, that can technically still be considered “early 2015.”
Apple is usually known for launching big new products ahead of an upcoming shopping season, but the Apple Watch will be an exception, releasing at some point early next year. Valentine’s Day would be the only other shopping season alternatives, and it’s possible that Apple is shooting for that.
Again, the Apple Watch will start at a steep $349. There are still quite a few details about the device that we don’t know about yet, including the obvious release date. Also, no word on exact battery life, although Apple CEO Tim Cook said himself that users will probably be charging the thing every day.
While the company has taken the “i” prefix out of the name, that doesn’t mean it loses its Apple value. The device’s design is very similar to that of Apple’s other iOS products, and it even runs a modified version of iOS.
However, Cook has said that the company didn’t just shrink down the iPhone’s user interface and strap it to your wrist. Instead, the touchscreen UI is much different on the Watch than on an iPhone.
For example, instead of using pinch-to-zoom on the tiny touchscreen on the Watch, you use a small dial that you turn in order to zoom in and out while viewing maps or otherwise. Pressing the dial, which Apple calls the “digital crown,” will take you back to the home screen.
The touch screen is a rather unique one. For starters, it uses sapphire glass, which was rumored in the past of course, but the display also senses pressure, which means that it can tell the difference between a “tap” and a “press,” and it’s essentially like the difference between a left-click and right-click on a computer mouse.
The Apple Watch is quite the fitness device as well, as it has a myriad of sensors on the bottom to record your heart rate and other vitals, and it borrows the GPS signal from your iPhone for running or cycling apps to use. It looks like it’ll track your fitness activities better than most wearable devices can, but we’ll have to test it out first before we make such claims.
What’s perhaps most impressive is that the Watch will analyze the text of a message and will provide you with pre-determined answers to allow you to easily answer back with just a tap. Otherwise, you can talk to the device and have it translate that into text.
Other features include the ability to tweet from the Watch and even unlock hotel room doors with a quick wave at select SPG hotels. A ton of apps are getting support for the device, so you’ll be able to do a ton of stuff, like look up scores, browse Pinterest and even adjust your Nest thermostat.