The Apple Watch, originally announced in September last year, is to go on sale in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the USA from Friday 24th April. It’s a companion device for customers with an Apple iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Ordering and in-store previews will be available from Friday 10th.
Features include the ability to send messages, read email and answer voice calls on an associated iPhone. It’s also compatible with the Apple Pay mobile payment service, currently only available in the USA.
In addition, Apple’s Watch works with its Activity app to measure calories burned and activity, thanks to an accelerometer and a built-in heart rate sensor.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said “Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it. We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.”
There’ll be three model types of Apple Watch, each with a choice of 38mm and 42mm displays. Apple promises a battery life of up to 18 hours for its smart watches.
Pricing is from £299 for the smaller size of Apple Watch Sport up to £13,500 for the highest-spec gold Apple Watch Edition.
Figures from market research business eMarketer predict that iPhones will account for 43.3% of all US smartphone users and 32.2% of all UK smartphone users this year.