TECH REPORT: Apple Watch Pre-Orders Open In April, Prices Start At $349 to $10K

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the release and price of the company’s new feature-rich Apple Watch on Monday in San Francisco.

Apple’s new wearable tech will be in stores in April, and the watch will cost $349 for the base model and up to $10,000 for a stylish solid gold limited edition version.

Apple Watch comes in three styles: the aluminum Apple Watch Sport (available in silver or space gray, $349 for the 38mm, and $399 for 42mm); the sleek and stainless steel Apple Watch (traditional finish or space black $549 38mm, and $599 for 42mm); and the 18K solid gold case Apple Watch Edition ($10,000, available in select Apple stores).

Pre-orders for all three models start April 10. The watch will be in stores April 24.

Watch shoppers will be able to try on the watch and learn about its features in Apple Retail Stores on April 10.

Cook demonstrated the various features built into iWatch which allows owners to make calls, send and read text messages, read full emails, control music, and keep up with their workouts.

Apple’s Kevin Lynch also showed the audience how one app on Apple Watch lets users check into their hotels and unlock your room and remotely open a garage door from his wrist.

The watch boasts up to 18 hours of battery life which can be charged using a magnetic charger that snaps to the back of the watch.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.46.50 AM

GABE SLATE’S TAKE 11:30 a.m.: More info on ‪#‎applewatch‬ showing off apps now like instagram & uber. Look cool.

In your home thru WiFi extends range you can be from iPhone so not tethered to short bluetooth leash.

Working w/hotels to make Apple watch your room key to get in room.
Watch can listen too music and transcribe the lyrics in real time.

GABE SLATE’S TAKE 11:08 a.m.: Tim Cook now talking about ‪#‎applewatch‬ says it will be most advanced time piece ever. Health, communication, being more intimate with yourself & others. New ways to communicate with others. Connect apple watch to apple watch. Draw on your watch and it shows up on their screen. Send your heart beat trough vibrate pulse to another watch wearer.

APPLE UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: “In addition to timekeeping, communications, and health and fitness, Apple Watch lets you do so much more.”

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APPLE UPDATE 10:53 a.m.: “Tim talks about Apple Watch… And now, the newest addition to the Apple family — Apple Watch.

Apple Watch is designed to appeal to a broad range of personal styles.
Because what you wear is an expression of who you are…It’s the most advanced timepiece ever created. A device that will revolutionize how you connect with others. And a comprehensive health and fitness companion.”

DIGITAL-TOUCH

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GABE SLATE’S TAKE 10:56 a.m.: GABE SLATE says, “Apple’s new MacBook laptop comes with 12-inch screen for $1,300. Ships April 10.
It’s their Thinest laptop ever. Lightest ever. World’s most energy efficient Notebook. Best battery yet for an Apple laptop w/all day use. Comes in Gold, silver or space grey. New retina screen thinnest yet with best visuals. It has a beefed up improved track pad. It has just one input that is ac power, hdmi, & usb all in one called usb-c.”

APPLE UPDATE 10:33 a.m.: “MacBook isn’t just a new notebook. It’s the future of the notebook. This is the most precisely engineered product Apple has ever made…At only 2 pounds, this is the lightest MacBook ever.

“The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display now has fifth-generation Intel Core processors. 2x faster flash storage. And up to 10 hours of battery life.”

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APPLE UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: “Introducing ResearchKit. A software framework designed to benefit medical research … Now researchers can easily create apps that will change the way they work…With ResearchKit, iPhone and HealthKit become amazing research tools.

“ResearchKit is a framework that enables medical researchers to more easily design the apps they’re going to use for clinical studies.”
– Stephen Friend, MD, PhD, Apple

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APPLE UPDATE 10:08 a.m.: “Introducing HBO NOW. It’s HBO on Apple TV without a cable or satellite subscription.”

“Coming this April, HBO NOW will be available exclusively in the U.S. on Apple TV and the App Store.

“It’s $14.99 a month. And for a limited time, the first month is free if you sign up on your Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone.”

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On Monday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to spring forth his newest tech gadget the Apple iWatch during the tech company’s press event in San Francisco.

Apple has been teasing the public with its smartwatch, but Cook along with other execs, and developers are likely to show off the wearable’s apps and announce price which many are estimating to start at about $350.

Following today’s event, KRON 4 tech reporter Gabe Slate will let us know if this is a must-have gadget or if this new tech will change the game.

Will Apple’s watch change the tech game? Weigh in with your comment below.

Stay with KRON 4 News and Tech Report’s Gabe Slate for the latest from Apple’s press event starting at 9 a.m.

DIALED IN ON iWATCH: What’s it do

WHAT WILL IT DO?

— Show email, texts and phone calls, news, health readings and other notifications. They will be customized for the watch, so you won’t simply see what’s on the phone.

— An accelerometer will count steps you take, and an internal motor can signal you with a subtle “tap” on the wrist. There’s also a heart monitor; it’s not clear yet what heart rate readings you’ll get during exercise and rest.

— NFC wireless technology will to allow you to pay-with-a-tap through Apple Pay at participating retail stores and restaurants.

NOTE: Although some features may work without your smartphone nearby, you will need an iPhone 5 or later model in close proximity for full functionality.

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WHAT APPS ARE IN THE WORKS?

In September, Apple said several apps are in development. One would open your room at Starwood hotels. Another would help you find your BMW in a crowded parking lot.

It’s not yet known what apps will be rolled out with the April launch. But the success of Apple Watch could ride on what apps are in store to extend the watch’s functionality.

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HOW LONG DOES THE BATTERY LAST?

The watch likely will need to be recharged nightly, just like the phone.

Some fitness trackers can last for days without a recharge, but full-featured smartwatches typically last a day or two at most. What’s not known is how well Apple Watch will be able to last even a full day under heavy use.

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HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? WHEN CAN I BUY IT?

Apple has said the watch will start at $349 for the base model. There will be three different lines: aluminum for fitness enthusiasts, stainless steel for everyday wear and luxury 18-karat gold. Each line will come in two sizes and offer a variety of wristbands. The luxury edition might cost several thousand dollars, in line with other high-end jewelry. One question is whether Apple will let you keep the expensive casing and swap internal components as they are upgraded.

Apple will likely give a specific release date on Monday, along with a list of initial markets outside the U.S.

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THE DIAL

One thing that sets Apple Watch apart is the control you’ll get by turning the dial, known as the digital crown. Many rival smartwatches have buttons that do little more than turn on the screen and make menu selections. With Apple Watch, you’ll be able to turn the crown to zoom in and out. You can get a closer view of a map that way, for instance. You’ll probably still need to touch the screen to slide the map around.

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HOW WELL WILL IT SELL?

On the low end, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster estimates 8 million Apple Watches sold in the first nine months they are available. Forrester Research has predicted 10 million and Strategy Analytics is calling for 15 million.

By comparison, only 5 million smartwatches, from all makers, were sold last year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple sold about 5 million iPhones and almost 15 million iPads in their first nine months on the market.

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BEYOND THE WATCH

— There might be an update on Apple’s plans to replace iPhoto with a photo app similar to what’s found on iPhones and iPads.

— A new Apple TV streaming device? It’s been years since the last hardware update, though there’s speculation an announcement would instead involve Apple’s role in a stand-alone subscription service from HBO.

— Apple got a streaming music service when it bought Beats last year. When will Apple integrate that into iTunes?

— Might announce additional features or car models with Apple’s CarPlay, which lets drivers control iPhones with voice commands, a touch on the steering wheel or a swipe on a dashboard display.

— A larger-size iPad in the works?

Information from Associated Press was used in this story.

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