The Apple Watch is almost destined to make an official appearance at the Apple “Spring Forward” media event to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10AM PT/1PM ET, Monday, 9 March. The much-anticipated smartwatch, Apple’s first official wearable product, is already expected to drive the industry which is still in its infancy.
Here are some interesting titbits about this exciting new product.
As a primer, the Apple Watch will come in two sizes — 38mm and 42mm, both designed to work on your left or right wrist. As you would expect, the Apple Watch is impeccably built, created from custom alloys of stainless steel and aluminum, plus also a choice of 18K yellow or rose gold for those with deeper pockets.
Apple says “there’s an Apple Watch for everyone”, and indeed the Cupertino company is catering to different personal tastes and styles by offering choices of bands and material builds. Bands offered include a Link Bracelet, Sport Band, Leather Loop, Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle and Milanese Loop.
The Apple Watch will also come with a variety of customisable watch faces — you can ultimately choose colours, design elements and add functionality.
To make it easy to find the right Apple Watch, Apple has categorised the watch into three distinct collections — Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition.
The entry-level Apple Watch features stainless steel or space black stainless steel cases, sapphire crystal and a range of stylish bands to boot.
The Watch Sport is clearly suited to the active, made with anodised aluminum cases in silver/space gray, protected by strengthened Ion-X glass. The sport version will come with a variety of colourful, durable bands.
The premium Watch Edition features 18K gold cases in yellow or rose, with the face made of sapphire crystal. You’ll get exquisitely crafted bands and closures.
With the Apple Watch, Apple is introducing a new way to input via the Digital Crown. In conventional, mechanical watches, the crown is usually used to set the time and date, or to wind the mainspring. Due to the limited size of a watch display, it would be ridiculous to pinch and zoom as you would a smartphone.
Rotating the Digital Crown, however, allows you to zoom and scroll precisely, without obscuring your view of the time face. You can push it like a button to bring you back to the Home screen.
The Watch OS is unlike anything you’ve seen — it’s fluid, responsive and Apple even developed a new typeface to improve legibility.
The Apple Watch comes with a Retina display, protected by either a single layer of sapphire crystal or strengthened Ion-X glass. What’s cool about the Apple Watch is that it can differentiate a light tap from a deep press to trigger different contextual specific controls. Certainly a step up from pure Multi-Touch.
Just like on the iPhone, the Apple Watch comes built-in with Siri, giving you instant response to your queries. You can dictate messages, get turn-by-turn directions and more.
Could the Apple Watch be the most human watch in the market? Apple developed the Taptic Engine in the Apple Watch, a linear actuator inside the watch to produce haptic feedback on your wrist. When you receive a notification or alert, or perform a function, you’ll feel a tactile sensation that’s recognisably different for each interaction. The Taptic Engine creates a discreet, nuanced experience by engaging more of your senses.
The Apple Watch will be the first Apple product to use inductive charging, mated with the proven MagSafe technology to ensure precise alignment of the watch to charger.
Much has been debated about the battery life on the Apple Watch, and Apple has claimed a full day of use. We will have to see once the actual product is made available.
Starting at USD349 (RM1,286), the Apple Watch may hit as high as USD1,000 (RM3,690) for the Watch Edition with premium bands. Certainly not cheap. But then again, Apple doesn’t do cheap (“We’re not in the junk market,” Tim Cook once said). The device is expected to ship in April.
According to recent research by Canalys Research, sales of smartwatches will more than double to 43.2 million this year, spurred by the Apple Watch. Apple is reportedly preparing to churn out 1 million Watch Edition units per month, with an initial round of 3-5 million units of watches overall. Apple anticipates to ship 24 million units of Apple Watches in 2015.
Can Apple redefine the smartwatch segment the way it redefined the smartphone and tablet? How does the Apple Watch compare to the likes of the Moto360, LG Watch Urbane, Samsung Gear S, Huawei Watch and the Pebble?