Apple on Monday took the wraps off its much-awaited Apple Watch at an event in San Francisco. Launched in a number of variants and two sizes, including the gold model, Apple Watch will be available from next month in a number of countries. However, the schedule does not include India.
"We crafted each one of them with the care you would expect from Apple," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, during a press event in San Francisco. The watch will be available for pre-order and preview the first time April 10, and sold and shipping April 24.
The smartwatch will be available in two sizes (38 and 42 mm) and three variants: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Sport. The first two come with sapphire crystal to protect the screen from cracking, whereas the sports version has a strengthened Ion-X glass on the display.
The 18 karat gold version of the watch starts at $10,000 (Rs. 6,27,349). The mid-tier version will be $549 (Rs. 34,441) to $1049 (Rs. 65,808) for the smaller sized watch, depending on the type of band. For the larger size, its $599 (Rs. 37,578) to $1099 (Rs. 68,945). The starting price for the small sized basic version, made of aluminum, is $349 (Rs. 21,894). The larger size is $399 (Rs. 25,031).
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There also are a variety of bands that can be easily swapped, including a Milanese loop of metal mesh with magnets, a leather band that auto-attaches, a segmented metal link band, a classic leather watch band, a leather loop band, and a more plasticized sport band in bright colors.The devices must be paired with an iPhone, and are compatible with the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6, and 6 Plus.
Apple's first smartwatch has some distinguishing hardware features, such as a digital crown that can be turned to scroll or zoom on the screen; one can press on this crown to return to the previous page.The touchscreen itself has two-step touch-sensitivity that can understand the difference between a tap and press. It has a built-in mic and speaker using which one can complete a conversation as long as the iPhone is within the range.
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Among the key features of Apple Watch are always-on Siri, tracking users' fitness, third-party app support and it receives phone calls as well as iMessages and SMSs. It can act as a walkie-talkie and operate the iPhone camera as well as Apple TV. Apple Watch uses an actuator called Taptic Engine to let the users know of notifications and alerts. All notifications can be received and photos seen on Apple Watch.
Apple has Placed an all-new microprocessor named S1 in Watch, which it calls an entire computer architecture on a single chip, and comes with MagSafe inductive charging, similar to what we have seen on Macbooks.
Apple is believed to have requested its contract manufacturer, Quanta Computers, to make 5-6 million Apple Watches in the first quarter of 2015. Supply-chain sources say that 50% of this output is set for the entry-level Apple Watch Sports, whereas 30% is for the mid-tier model with stainless-steel casing and sapphire crystal.