SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Make calls, read email, control music, manage Instagram photos, keep up with your workout, pay for groceries, open your hotel room door. CEO Tim Cook says you can do it all from your wrist with Apple Watch — for 18 hours a day. That’s how long the battery will last on an average day.
Pre-orders start April 10 and the smartwatch will be on display in retail stores. The watch will start selling on April 24 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The device costs $349 for a base model aimed at fitness enthusiasts, while a luxury gold version will go for $10,000.
Industry watchers are eager to see if Apple’s version will be the tipping point for the sluggish smartwatch market. There was similar skepticism when Apple released the iPad in 2010, yet the company has successfully sold millions and its popularity has shaken up the PC market.
The stakes are high for a company that just dislodged AT&T as one of the 30 stocks comprising the venerable Dow Jones industrial average. The watch is the first brand-new device Apple has launched without Steve Jobs.
Cook directed Apple’s big event Monday in San Francisco, unveiling a shiny, skinny and silent MacBook weighing in at just two pounds and 24 percent thinner than the MacBook Air. The company says is the world’s most energy-efficient laptop.
The starting price of the new MacBook laptop is $1,299 and comes with 256 gigabytes of storage. For $1,599, you get a faster processor and twice the storage. The MacBook will start shipping April 10.
Apple also has unveiled a new deal between Apple TV and HBO, touted growth in iPhone sales and Apple Pay adoption, and announced a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centers develop apps for patients.
It cut the price of Apple TV by $30 to $69 and is partnering with HBO to offer its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Go, on Apple devices in time for the “Game of Thrones” premiere April 12. It will cost $14.99 monthly.
Cook said 2,500 banks are now signed up with Apple Pay, which is available in 700,000 retail locations nationwide.