Wristy business: Apple launches ‘most advanced timepiece ever created’

Modern humans already have plenty of gadgets around them. Now they have gadgets to put on them. And Apple is the latest to enter the wearables market with the launch of the Apple Watch, which will go on sale in April 24 in nine countries and in New Zealand later in the year. And, in traditional Apple style, the product has taken centre stage in the advertising. 

In addition to the main clip showing off its look and its various features (the Mickey Mouse clock face is easily the most advanced feature), it also shows the different models that will be available (its 18 carat gold model aims for the high-end fashion market and will sell for around $10,000, while its steel and aluminium options with customisable straps will be between $349 and $399). Its first advertising for the Apple Watch was a 12-page spread in Vogue.

As it says on the website: “Our goal has always been to make powerful technology more accessible. More relevant. And ultimately, more personal. Apple Watch represents a new chapter in the relationship people have with technology. It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made, because it’s the first one designed to be worn.” 

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said at the launch event this morning that “in addition to being a beautiful object, the Apple watch is the most advanced timepiece ever created; it’s a revolutionary way to connect to others; and it’s a comprehensive health and fitness companion. We make products that enhance people’s lives, and the Apple Watch carries that to a new level. [It] tracks your daily movement, and it even reminds you if you’ve been sitting too long. It’s like having a coach on your wrist.” 

The watch, which is expected to last 18 hours on one charge, needs to be tethered to an iPhone via Bluetooth to make or accept calls. So given phones are generally within arm’s reach and checked multiple times a day, it remains to be seen if punters can be convinced they need what The Guardian concluded was “essentially an expensive accessory for a smartphone”. Many weren’t convinced the iPad was needed either, and we know how that turned out. 

As it has done with its iPad campaign, it has also shown the technology helping to augment people’s lives and Christy Turlington Burns, the founder of non-profit Every Mother Counts and model, “shares what it was like to run the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon while wearing and training with Apple Watch“.

Apple also announced a new, thinner, lighter MacBook which it says is the “world’s most energy-efficient laptop”. 

And it also announced a deal with HBO to allow its streaming service HBO Go on Apple devices ahead of the new series of Game of Thrones, something middlemen broadcasters like Sky will no doubt have noticed. 

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