Apple took a lot of the veils off the Apple Watch today at a typically elaborate event in San Francisco. Most of the Watch demos had been originally shown in September, but the demos were deeper and more apparently ready for shipment.
The most important details: Pre-orders on April 10, with previews in stores. Shipment April 24. Battery life touted at 18 hours of typical use.
Watch Sport: Aluminum case. Elastomer (a/k/a rubber) bands. The 38mm watch is $349; $399 for the 42mm size.
Watch Collection: Stainless steel, available in steel color and black, with a wide range of bands: leather, metal link, and Milanese loop. Price: $549-1049 for the 38mm version depending on the band, $599-$1099 for the 42mm.
Watch Edition: 18k gold, custom bands, with gold clasps. Limited edition. Price: $10,000 plus. Available in select retail stores.
One neat operational detail that wasn’t clear at the initial announcement: The watch connects to an iPhone not just with Bluetooth, but over WiFi (presumably on the same subnetwork), so you don’t need to always be within 30 feet of your phone to let your watch work. There was no mention of on-watch storage for music. Nor was there any discussion of replaceable components to ensure that your $10,000 gold watch will continue to operate in a few years.