Apple Inc. allowed consumers on Friday to try out the new Apple Watch, its initial product in the personal luxury goods market, in its stores in nine countries worldwide.
The device changes the way in which users will start to receive information, with notification available at a glance, and interaction through third-party apps designed specifically for the wristwear.
This time the consumer giant changed its approach to consumer demand. Users were expected to schedule an appointment to get a hands-on look at the Apple Watch before placing a pre-order, helping them decide whether to buy the accessory or not, given the longer than usual window between pre-orders and availability.
Users in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan were among the countries to which the device came first.
Apple Watch features A sapphire crystal Retina display with Force Touch, and comes in a ceramic back with a digital crown. It also hosts a heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope, with an ambient light sensor and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Apple Watch offers up to 18 hours of battery life, and is splash and water resistant but not waterproof.
The device comes in a case crafted from a refined 316L stainless steel, making it up to 80 percent harder and less susceptible to nicks and corrosion with a mirror finish. There are also more upscale models of the watch
Set to be available from Mar. 24, consumers will be able to buy the Apple Watch online or by appointment in shops. The device will be available in 20 different models, as part of Apple’s strategy of positioning the wearable computer as a must-have accessory.
Apple Watch comes with a host of built-in Apple Watch Apps – like Mail, Messages, and Maps – that work in modern ways. Apps like Siri, Music, Weather, Stocks and Passbook become more convenient on the wrist. Newer apps like Activity, Workout and Camera Remote, which turns Apple Watch into a viewfinder for the iSight camera on an iPhone will also be available.
Users can also download relevant and functional apps from Apple Store on the Apple Watch to create a customised experience.
Analysts are predicting that Apple may get 300,000 pre-orders in the first 24 hours and may sell 1 million watches during the opening weekend, including those early orders. While estimates are that the company may sell 8 million units this fiscal year, generating US$4.4 billion in revenue, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos is said to have told Bloomberg Media.