Apple ready to launch battle of the smartwatch

FOR gadget lovers the wait is finally over.

Apple CEO Tim Cook  is due to reveal the price and launch date of the wearable technology later today. Picture: Getty
Apple CEO Tim Cook is due to reveal the price and launch date of the wearable technology later today. Picture: Getty

The Apple Watch will be formally unveiled today, with Apple chief Tim Cook announcing the final details of the eagerly anticipated wearable technology, including the price and launch date.

Since it was first revealed in September, but only with the launch date of “early 2015”, speculation has been rife as to what users can expect from the latest gadget from the technology company.

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Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Apple’s long-awaited entry to the wearables space will no doubt supercharge a market that otherwise seemed destined to be the preserve of techies and early adopters.

“Mobile World Congress was a watershed when it came to wearables, when we saw a number of manufacturers – some doubtlessly after seeing Apple’s effort – change tack of pitching their wristwear from fitness tracker to fashion accessory.”

The latest speculation suggests that Apple is still worried about battery life on the Watch – a common issue among existing smartwatches – and a report from Bloomberg has stated that Apple is asking developers to design their apps to only be used for 10 seconds at a time.

The firm, based in Cupertino, California, has declined to comment on the issue, but it has been suggested Apple does not want users to feel their smartwatch is bothering them with a notification every few seconds.

Apps on the Apple Watch are a key area, with one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone and iPad being the enormous App Store that both are connected to – a store which dwarfs the likes of Google Play and the Windows Store in terms of available applications.

However, the Apple Watch is a new platform – the company’s first since the iPad in 2010, and as a result the big names are being drafted in to ensure that by launch day consumers will have more than enough options for how to use their new device.

The likes of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, United Airlines and BMW are all reported to be working within one of Apple’s top secret labs in California on versions of their software for the Watch.

BMW’s app is said to offer a level of car control while there is also believed to be a deal in place with hotel chain Starwood that will allow the Apple Watch to unlock hotel room doors.

Some rival smartwatches have been on the market for two years already, and as a result have an array of software at their disposal. The Pebble Watch, made famous on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, has 6,500 apps, while Google’s Android Wear platform has around 2,000.

The price of the three versions of the Watch are likely to be discussed on-stage in Cupertino. A Sport and premium Edition version of the Watch – which comes in gold, will all go on sale in April. Analyst John Gruber has suggested there will be up to five tiers of Apple Watch, ranging from £230 to as much as £13,000 for the top-of-the range gold version.