It’s already the world’s most valuable company and now Apple is hoping that its brand-new gadget will earn it even more money. The Apple Watch is the most advanced timepiece ever created.
The watch is Apple’s first totally new product since the iPad five years ago and the company is betting that, yet again, it’s invented something people didn’t even know they wanted. It starts at a higher price than most other smartwatches and the gold version will cost as much as £ 13,000.
So what exactly can the Apple Watch do? It has to be connected to an iPhone to work. You can then make calls and see emails and texts on your wrist. The watch can be used as a mobile wallet to pay for things – though for now, only in the United States. And it can monitor your health and fitness.
So to think that this device that you use to check your mail or Facebook can be used to battle disease is really simply amazing. The company also unveiled a plan to allow medical researchers to use information collected from iPhone and Watch users while promising that it wouldn’t see that data. You decide how your data is shared and Apple will not see your data.
Apple is rarely first with new technology. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone but it’s been a huge money spinner. The iPad wasn’t the first tablet but it has sold pretty well. As for smartwatches, well, there are plenty of them already on the market but Apple now has to prove we need yet another new gadget on our wrists.
Last week saw a clutch of new smartwatches unveiled at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, including these from a small firm called Pebble whose founder hopes Apple will grow the market.
I think the opportunity is massive. I think there’s going to be millions if not tens or hundreds of millions of smartwatches on people’s wrists within the next couple years. I think Apple is a massive company. They’re a worthy competitor and definitely bringing an interesting perspective to the table.
But as we’ve found on London’s Carnaby Street today, lots of younger people just don’t wear watches anymore. Apple’s challenge is to make glancing at your wrist, rather than your phone, fashionable again. Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News.