The Apple Watch Starts At $US349, Will Ship In Early 2015

Apple watchAppleApple Watch

Apple’s much anticipated wearable device, called the Apple Watch, will be priced from $US349 and will start shipping from early 2015. It comes in two different sizes and three different models.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called it the “next chapter of Apple’s story” and the “most personal device we’ve ever created.”

The price point is pretty much in line with what we had heard from previous reports. Re/code reported last month that Apple executives were planning to charge around $US400 for its new wearable device.

The shipment of the iWatch was also expected to be delayed until next year because of its complex manufacturing process, according to an FT report last month.

The $US400 price point puts the iWatch in the higher-end range of the current wearable market. Fitness wristbands by Nike and Jawbone hover around $US100~$150, while Samsung and LG’s cost about $US200 apiece.

Apple is the latest smartphone maker to join the increasingly competitive wearable device market.

Research firm IDC predicts the wearables market will reach nearly 112 million units by 2018, a sixfold increase from this year’s 19 million units.

But, as has been the case with so many of Apple’s other devices, the Apple Watch clearly stands to differ from the rest of the pack.

It has a much more sophisticated design and simple functionality, including the “Digital Crown” on the side of the watch that could immediately appeal to a broader market.

It works seamlessly with the iPhone and has a completely new health and fitness tracking features. You can also send messages, play music, and use Siri with it. Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment platform, works on it as well.

The iWatch is still a few months away from actually hitting the market, but from what we’ve seen today, it’s definitely a game-changer that could potentially disrupt the entire watch, payment, and fitness industries.

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