THE APPLE WATCH will launch on middle March 2015, according to invites sent out by Apple today. The highly anticipated launch event for Apple's first smartwatch has been confirmed as happening in just over a week's time at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In typical sparse Apple style, the invite is little more than an image of the Apple logo, with the words "Spring forward".
The imaginatively-named Apple Watch was announced during the firm's iPhone 6 launch event on 9 September, marking the company's first leap into the wearables market. We've rounded up everything we know so far about the Apple Watch, including its specifications, release date and pricing details. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked as we'll be updating it as soon as we learn more. Release date After confirming in September that the Apple Watch would be available in "early 2015", Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the wearable will arrive on the shelves in April, despite speculation that it would arrive in March and a launch event on 9 March.
Apple reportedly has ordered 'five to six million' units ahead of the impending release date. Price The Apple Watch will be available to buy from $349 (around £216), which will bag buyers the sports model. Apple hasn't revealed how much the more expensive metal and gold versions will cost. However, a leak via iGen.fr claims that the stainless steel smartwatch will be priced at $500, while the gold Apple Watch could fetch between "$4,000 and $5,000". If you have a spare $30,150, an 18-carat rose gold version with 15.14 carats of diamonds can be pre-ordered now via third-party jeweller Mervis Diamond.
Specifications The Apple Watch will be made available in 1.5in and 1.7in screen sizes and, while Apple has yet to cough on the display resolution, the Apple Watch SDK has revealed that these will be 272x340 and 312x390, respectively. The Apple Watch will run a version of iOS designed from the ground up for Apple's debut wearable device. It supports touch navigation, but the fresh UI can also be controlled by the handset's 'Digital Crown'. This mechanical wheel, like that which you would normally use to set the time on an analogue watch, lets you scroll and browse through the user interface. For example, scrolling the wheel will allow you to zoom in and out on Apple's Maps app, while tapping the button takes you back to the homepage.
Apple's new 'Taptic engine' also improves the mapping experience, buzzing wearers with different vibrations when they need to turn left or right. This feature can also be used to send fellow Apple Watch wearers a nudge, and for notification alerts. On the software side, the Apple Watch also comes with Siri, allowing users to bark commands at their wrist. On-screen typing will not be supported owing to the small screen size. The Apple Watch boasts a Retina display and a feature called 'Force Touch', which means the screen knows how hard you are pressing it. The screen also comes with toughened sapphire glass on top, which means it should be difficult to break.
There's Bluetooth 4.0 support, WiFi and Magsafe wireless charging support, and the two models measure in at 38mm and 42mm respectively. The watch, as rumours had suggested, comes stuffed full of health and fitness sensors, and is capable of measuring heart rate and body movements. This all comes baked in to Apple's new Activity and Workout apps, where users can also count calories and set personal goals.