At a San Francisco media event on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the wraps off of his company’s long-awaited smart watch, which is slated to go on sale next month and which represents the first all-new product to be introduced by Apple since the debut of the iPad in 2010.
Although the Apple Watch is not the first product of its kind, analysts project that, once the watch appears on retail shelves on April 24, Apple, the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization, could capture a significant share of the nascent smart watch market by year’s end. The Apple Watch will be offered in two case sizes—1.5 inches and 1.65 inches—and in a range of customizable designs that start at $349 for the aluminum Watch Sport model and go as high as $17,000 for the luxury, gold-encased Edition model. The Apple Watch is designed to provide users with abbreviated messages, map functions, reminders and a variety of tools that will work in conjunction with the iPhone. Officials at Apple confirmed that “thousands” of apps have already been developed for the Apple Watch. Users will be able to zoom in or out of the screen or scroll through web pages by twisting on the watch “crown,” and the watch will support outgoing or incoming voice calls as long as an iPhone is within range. Apple will accept pre-orders for the watch on April 10 and will market the watch initially in the U.S., China, Australia, Japan and five other countries.