After months of waiting, the second unveiling of the Apple Watch will take place in a few hours. You’ll be able to catch it live at apple.com/live at 1:00 EST (12:00 CST,10:00 PST). For a product that was introduced back in September, 2014, there remain a significant amount of questions. There will always be the contingent of Apple customers who sight unseen, have plans to purchase the Watch as soon as it becomes available. For many, pertinent questions remain and will likely impact their purchase decisions. Ahead of today’s event, here are the 7 biggest questions surrounding the Apple Watch.
By far, the biggest topic of discussion over the past few months has been price. For their part, Apple has said the Watch starts at $349. When you look at the various models (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition), it’s extremely hard to pinpoint pricing. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has offered up his last minute predictions. It’s his belief that we could see versions priced upwards of $19,999. When you start pricing a watch in the thousands, that’s going to appeal to a small subset of customers. The more interesting of the products is the bump from the aluminum model to the more attractive stainless steel. Gruber is of the opinion that it would be a $400 upgrade, with pricing going North based on the type of bracelet.
For each model, there are two sizes. 38mm and 42mm. Those too could be price differentiators, with the larger watch costing slightly more.
There have been plenty of guesstimates. Today we’ll get actual pricing. Regardless, it’s going to be a much more complex pricing scheme than anything we’ve seen from Apple in the past. iPhones are priced by storage. There are no different finishes or accessories that bump up the price. Will there be a market for a $10k Apple Watch?
2. Water resistant
We know that it’s not water-proof. Taking a swim with your Apple Watch could be a costly mistake, even more so than dropping your iPhone in water. That’s something which would be a logical upgrade for the second generation and even something which has been rumored for the iPhone 6S. A bigger question is water resistance. There have been unsubstantiated rumors that Apple CEO was quoted as saying he wears his watch in the shower. Apple has yet to offer any details on whether the Apple Watch is water resistant.
Some have suggested that some models would be afforded the option to upgrade their Apple Watch Edition. Technology is going to play a big part in the overall experience, but so is fashion. Rolex, Breitling and others can easily see prices in the thousands. Those are timeless. The Apple Watch Edition is not. What if you could upgrade the internal processor or sensor at a fraction of the cost? This certainly isn’t typical of Apple, but this is an entirely new product category.
4. Battery Life
Technology moves fast, but always seems constrained by battery life. Rumors from 9to5Mac have Apple aiming for 19 hours of mixed use, with latest reports suggesting the Apple Watch battery will have 5 hours of farily active use. Apple’s projections will be something to keep an eye on today.
You’ll be able to store music and photos on the device. Given the requirement of an iPhone 5 or greater to use the Apple Watch, it doesn’t seem as if storage will be a factor. Just how many photos or music are people going to keep on their watch, given their iPhone is well within reach. This product doesn’t suffer from needing storage to differentiate pricing tiers. How much storage will be available on Apple Watch?
6. Third Party Apps
There are countless developers who have been working on Watch apps. Expect that some will be in attendance and offered time during today’s event to present their apps. This is a new product and people are anxious to figure out just how this will improve our existing digital ecosystems. When the iPad came out, there were a chorus of folks proclaiming there wasn’t a need, because we had iPhones. Expect the same, but that could be diffused when we see just how developers are providing innovative apps that clearly demonstrate how the Apple Watch will improve our lives.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had originally stated that we would see the product in April. We’ve grown accustomed to products becoming available shortly after events like today’s Spring Forward launch. When Apple launched the first iPhone, that didn’t hit shelves until 6 months after it was announced. The Apple Store is down. However, there is a rumored 12-inch MacBook Air which could happen today. Will the Apple Watch be available next week? Will they start accepting orders for April shipments?
Join us today in our Apple Watch forums, where we’ll be hosting our first live thread, taking place during the event.
What questions are on your mind today?