Apple Watch is at last coming in April – you can set your friends’ inferior Android Wear watches on it – and we know all about what’s literally been hiding up CEO Tim Cook’s sleeve. It’s a sapphire-coated smart watch officially dubbed Apple Watch, shedding the fabled iWatch moniker as the company focuses on chic wearables over geeky tech. With the new April release date announced, it’s also shedding that vague “early 2015” launch window in favor of a month with 30 days on the calendar. It’ll be here in three months. Matching Apple’s drive for style, this iPhone-compatible watch sports a premium rectangular design. It has rounded-off corners, though isn’t a circular smartwatch like its fashionable rival, Moto 360.
Of course, behind that pretty watch face, it’s still a powerful gadget and works seamlessly with iOS 8 devices including the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
•Hands on: Apple Watch review
Here’s everything we know.
Cut to the chase
What is it? An iOS 8-friendly watch that plays nice with your iPhone
When is it out? April
What will it cost? Starts at $349 (likely north of £223, AU$403)
We’re no longer asking “when will Apple Watch come out?” Instead, we’re focusing on “how much will the Apple Watch cost?” There’s really no precedent for a premium smartwatch price just yet. The answer: More than we were hoping to pay, even though its specs may be on par with Android Wear. That notorious Apple tax pushes the pricetag to $349 given components involved. That’s £223 in the UK and AU$403 in Australia, but expect those prices to be even higher, above the straight dollar conversion.
•Before iWatch: the timely history of the smartwatch. It’s true that Apple has recruited high-profile people throughout the watch and biometrics industries who have wound up on its Apple Watch team. That talent comes at a price.
Then there’s a hidden cost. While a subsidized iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are cheaper upfront in the US, stores make up the difference with contract kickbacks. Not so with a smartwatch. Stores need a cut too.
Apple watch price
Apple Watch cost way more than your average fitness tracker. Are you willing to pay?
For the sake of comparison, Android Wear’s cheaper initial watches included Samsung Gear Live at $200 (£170, AU$250) and LG G Watch at $230 (£160, AU$250) at launch. But Apple’s biggest and most stylish competition is from Motorola, and the Moto 360 price is $249 (£199, likely AU$275 given its rivals’ prices). Apple is aiming for luxury given the sapphire glass-protected display, an imposing digital crown, two sizes and even the 18k gold colored edition. Expect prices for that version to climb even higher. Apple Watch won’t be an impulse buy for most consumers. That’s why we’ll continue to update this page to see whether or not the iPhone-compatible smartwatch is a fit for you. Stay tuned.