It has been nearly four months since the Apple Watch was unveiled at a splashy media event on the De Anza College campus in Cupertino, California. Since then, much remains unresolved about the first new product line of the Tim Cook era at Apple.
What we know
Starting price: In September, Apple announced that the entry-level Watch would cost $349 in the U.S. That number is no longer mentioned on the Apple website, suggesting that most of the 18 Apple Watch varieties will be priced much higher than that starting price. Or does it?
Could Apple actually announce a lower starting price for the entry-level Sport editions? We’ll soon find out.
You need an iPhone: The Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone 5 or later. Got an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s? Yes, it’s time to upgrade.
Three product models, two sizes: The Apple Watch will be available in “three distinctive collections.” These include the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Yes, even after four months, these naming conventions are confusing.
Here’s how Apple describes them:
The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases. The display is protected by sapphire crystal. And there’s a choice of three different leather bands, a link bracelet, a Milanese loop, and a band made from high-performance fluoroelastomer.
The Sport collection cases are made from lightweight anodized aluminum in silver and space gray. The display is protected by strengthened Ion-X glass. And the matching fluoroelastomer band comes in five different colors.
The Edition collection features six uniquely elegant expressions of Apple Watch. Each has a watch case crafted from 18-karat gold that our metallurgists have developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold. The display is protected by polished sapphire crystal. And an exquisitely designed band provides a striking complement.
The Apple Watch will be available in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm.
What we don’t know
Price: Recent rumors suggest that the Apple Watch could range in price from $349 to $10,000. Not surprisingly, Apple suppliers are making more of the least expensive models, though Apple is expected to make more overall on the pricier ones.
Location: Apple retail stores might be the only place to buy the Watch, at least at launch. Sorry, Best Buy.
Upgrade options: Rolex and Panerai watches are made to be worn … and passed down to new generations. A 3-year-old Apple Watch? Probably not, thanks to technology advances.
Even one percenters might have a problem spending nearly $10,000 on a watch that could become obsolete in a few years. We continue to predict that Apple will announce a buyback program for Apple Watch Edition owners so that they can swap out expensive bands and cases when a next-generation Watch is unveiled.
Water resistant? One of the biggest unknowns about the Apple Watch is whether it can be worn in the shower. Earlier this week, Tim Cook seemed to suggest that it can. The Apple CEO told an audience in Berlin, Germany that he wears his Apple Watch everywhere, “even in the shower.”
During the Apple Watch event last fall, Cupertino didn’t specifically mention whether the device could be worn in the shower. Soon after, however, they told David Pogue that the device is water resistant.
As the Yahoo columnist explained at the time, “sweating, wearing it in the rain, washing your hands, or cooking with it are fine. Take it off before you swim or get in the shower, though.”
We can’t wait to bring you coverage of Apple’s Spring Forward event on March 9. We plan on providing coverage in a new, fresh way and hope that you can join us. Until then, be sure to take a look at our entire library of Apple Watch articles.