Apple Watch available in nine countries on 24 April, from USD349

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

After announcing it in September last year, Apple officially launched the Apple Watch on Tuesday at its “Spring Forward” media event in San Francisco — its first ever wearable device, and the latest addition to Apple’s ecosystem. The “most personal device yet” will be available on Friday, 24 April 2015 to nine select countries — Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.

The Apple Watch is available in two sizes — 38mm and 42mm, and in three distinct collections — Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

The smartwatch is a highly precise timepiece, keeping time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard.

Impeccably built, the Apple Watch introduces some new techno-wizardry including the Digital Crown, a way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display.

The Retina display with Force Touch can tell between a tap and a press. Meanwhile, the all-new Taptic Engine discreetly delivers a gentle tap on your wrist when there’s a notification or message for you.

Apple wasn’t kidding when it declared the Apple Watch “the most personal device yet” because it comes in a plethora of style choices and materials. Different band styles include a Link Bracelet, Sport Band, Leather Loop, Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle and Milanese Loop.

Apple Watch

The top-of-the-range Apple Watch Edition even has unique 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

A stylish, premium timepiece no doubt, but beneath the hardware is software that makes an Apple Watch… an Apple Watch. The Watch OS is intuitive, fluid and easy-to-use — enabling you to easily send messages, read email, answer calls and so much more.

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Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, a tap or even your heartbeat to another Apple Watch. You can conveniently pay for your shopping with Apple Pay, board a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or ask Siri questions or directions.

READ: Interesting titbits about the Apple Watch

It’s also a fantastic activity and fitness tracker with an accelerometer and heart rate sensor built-in. Coupled with the GPS and WiFi from your iPhone, you get a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity. You can set personalised activity goals, milestones and more.

And there’s so much more. It’s up to the developer community to create new experiences for the Apple Watch and introduce new features and functions for consumers. Right now, you can catch a ride with Uber, check-in on an American Airlines flight, control connected home appliances, just to name a few. Popular apps like Instagram, MLB.com, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter and WeChat are already available for Apple Watch. You can download and buy more from the Apple Watch App Store.

Apple claims its watch delivers up to 18-hours of battery life, something it considers “all-day”. While it falls short of a couple of days found in rival smartwatches, battery life will be highly dependent on individual use. Charging is via a unique solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe tech with inductive charging.

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Pricing and availability

Apple Watch will be available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store on Friday, 10 April 2015.

Starting 10 April in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, Apple Watch will be available for preview, try-on by appointment at Apple’s retail stores, and available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store.

On 24 April, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers in China and Japan.

Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at US$349 (RM1,298) and US$399 (RM1,484); Apple Watch, available from US$549 (RM2,042) to US$1,099 (RM4,087); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at US$10,000 (RM37,193).

Apple Watch will also be available to preview or try on at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London on 10 April. Apple Watch will be for sale on 24 April at these select department store shop-in-shops, and at boutiques in major cities across the world including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin.

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