Science & Technology Correspondent
Apple has once again pushed its reach into another market that most people would consider to be a failing one: watches.
The all-new Apple Watch was unveiled at an Apple press event Sept. 9 alongside the new edition to the iPhone family. Most would say that the Apple Watch stole the show and the iPhone 6, with its new camera, new apps and new design, fell onto the back burner. What does this watch offer, and is there a large enough market for it to become successful?
The Apple Watch comes in three versions, with each version coming in two different sizes. The three versions are named the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
The basic version of the Apple Watch is surrounded by a stainless steel case and comes with a stainless steel band.
The Apple Watch Sport comes with a strengthened aluminum casing and a rubberized band that allows for more wear and tear.
Finally, the Apple Watch Edition is encased in 18-karat gold and has a display protected by a polished sapphire crystal. This is the Rolex version of the Apple Watch. Apple has said that the watch will cost $349 and will be released in early 2015. On a side note, the $349 price tag will probably only be for the sport and regular editions of the watch, but for right now that is the only known price at this time.
Apple has also revealed that each Apple Watch can have its bands replaced with different ones that can be purchased wherever they are sold. There is no word yet on a price tag for each individual band.
The watch itself can only be paired with iPhone versions 5 and above. The Apple Watch is essentially an extension to the iPhone. It can do everything the iPhone can do, but it is dependent on the iPhone for receiving calls and texts as well as having a Wi-Fi signal.
One of the new apps that Apple revealed was the all- new Apple Pay system. Users simply store their credit card information into the Apple Watch, and whenever they make a purchase they simply place their hand over the credit card machine and the payment process is complete. It will obviously need to be used with credit card machines that have a scanner.
Another new addition to the apps was Apple Fitness. The Apple Watch has a heart rate monitor built into it that allows you to view your heart rate at any time during the day. Other features of the app include being able to view calories burned, distance walked, number of steps and elevation levels.
Apple Maps also has a few new additions included in the Apple Watch version. Users can put in any location and will be guided in one of two ways. They can look at the watch and be given the directions by Siri or they can keep their hands at their sides and have the watch direct them using a tapping system.
The number of taps that the watch emits will tell you whether you should be making a left or right or continue straight ahead.
The Apple Watch can also do everything that a phone can. It can answer calls, respond to texts, change the song on iTunes, respond to e-mail and keep up with all social media sites.
As you can see, the Apple Watch brings several of new things to the table, but is there a large enough market for it to become successful?
There are already a few different versions of a smart watch on the market and all are priced at $250 and below. One thing that I can see being an issue is that the Apple Watch locks you into sticking with your iPhone as the Apple Watch only works with an iPhone. Changing the brand of your phone essentially turns the Apple Watch into a $350 paper weight that tells time.
At the end of the day, the market for Apple products has always been a successful one because people trust Apple to deliver a good product that they will use in their daily lives.
When the iPad first launched, people were skeptical that Apple was headed in the wrong direction because it created a new market.
Most people did not see the implications of having an iPad when they had a laptop. Now look at the iPad. It is everywhere and few competitor can compete with it.
Will the Apple Watch be successful? Only time will tell.