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Apple answered questions about its first smartwatch at a media event in San Francisco on Monday and now we’ve got some answers on how much Apple Watch will cost and when you can buy one.
Apple Watch pricing depends on which size you get. The 38-mm Apple Watch Sport will cost $349, and the 42-mm model will cost $399. To move up to the stainless steel model, you’re going to spend at least $549, and as much as $1,049, depending on bracelet. The 42-mm models are $50 more. And for big spenders, the Apple Watch Edition with a gold case costs $10,000 and up. More information is now available on Apple’s website.
Preorders start on April 10, and that’s when Apple will start to display them in Apple Stores. Apple Watch will go on sale on April 24 in nine countries, including China, Hong Kong, France, Japan, and the United States.
Bands, sold separately, will start at $49 for a sport band, with leather bands and a mesh bracelet coming in at $150, all the way up to Apple’s link band, which costs $449.
In the absence of a unified story about what Apple Watch is best for, Apple focused on several Apple Watch features on Monday. Its first demo centered on a feature Apple called Digital Touch, which was introduced in September. It allows a user to draw on their watch and send the image to a friend’s Apple Watch — a feature that Android Wear doesn’t yet include. Users can pick up calls or reply to iMessages from an Apple Watch.
Apple Watch is fitness-focused, too. If you’ve been sitting too long, it will tap you and remind you to get up. For more serious athletes, Apple Watch is sporting a new workout app that tracks running, cycling, and sessions on cardio machines at your gym. It sets activity goals for you the way a coach would. These aren’t third-party features; they’re built into every Apple Watch.
Passbook gets some Apple Watch love, too. It can be used on the Apple Watch to show flight times and store QR codes. Apple Watch will work with Apple Pay for contactless retail payments.
Other features will have to be provided by third-party developers. Apple previewed apps and notifications from ESPN, CNN, Salesforce, Instagram, WeChat, Uber, Shazam, Starwood Hotels, and developers. To get those apps, you download them through the Apple Watch app on an iPhone. That feature is in the iOS 8.2 update, available today.
Even if you don’t like notifications or apps on your wrist, Apple Watch has a few nifty features, like the ability to change faces based on the time of day or your location. You can control your music and use Siri as well, although Siri doesn’t talk on the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch syncs with an iPhone through both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. If you were wondering about battery life, Apple says that Apple Watch can manage an “all-day battery life across a range of activities,” which apparently means about 18 hours.