Apple Watch to ship in April, CEO Tim Cook confirms

28 Jan 2015

The Apple Watch is “right on schedule” and will ship in April, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed last night. In what has to be the first time an Apple CEO confirmed a shipping date, Cook said his expectations “are very high.”

The Apple Watch – Apple’s first foray into wearables – will come in two sizes, a variety of alloys and will come in three distinct editions.

Last night Tim Cook announced the most profitable quarter in Apple’s history with revenues of US$74.5bn and profits of US$18bn. Over 74m iPhones were sold during the first quarter as well as 21m iPad devices and 5.5m Mac computers.

In November Apple released its WatchKit development kit for app creators and last night Cook described as “impressive” the number of apps created so far for the Apple Watch.

Prices for the new Apple Watch will start at US$349 for the aluminium Apple Watch Sport model.

What we know about the Apple Watch

Cook said he has been wearing his Apple Watch for months and can’t live without it. No doubt he hopes consumers will feel the same way in April.

So what can you expect with the Apple Watch?

The device can be navigated by a winding device akin to the click wheel called the Digital Crown, allowing users to scroll, zoom and navigate.

The Apple Watch can also be navigated by new sensors on the face of the device that can recognise touch and feel, as well as responding to voice via Apple’s Siri technology.

The watch can communicate via the user’s wrist by sending and receiving messages, as well as answering calls from Apple’s iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

A new update iOS 8.2 will be required to interact with the device and Apple is expected to release a companion app for the device in April.

There are four sensors on the back of the device that can monitor heart beats and pulse rates, and as well as sending emojis to other users, users can send portrayals of their heart beat to other users.

The smartwatch comes quintessentially in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm – but is spread across three distinct collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.

In terms of materials, it is available in custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold.

Apple also created an entire range of watch straps: the high-performance elastomer Sport Band; the Milanese Loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh; the Leather Loop in soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment; the leather Modern Buckle, which closes with a solid metal clasp; the leather Classic Buckle; and the stainless steel Link Bracelet.

Apple Watch comes with a charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years