People knew the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch was coming, and even knew some of the details.
That did not stop the company from throwing out some surprises at its Spring Forward event about its new wearable. Perhaps most importantly, the event gave Apple a chance to eliminate some of the rumors and let people know exactly what its new watch would do, what it would cost, and how it would work.
The results were an interesting mix of the expected and the surprising. Many were rumored before the official announcement, but Apple rumors are always plentiful, and often wrong.
Apple did not just deliver a watch as expected; the company delivered a watch that raised the bar for wearables while attempting to lure consumers into buying a device in a category that has yet to take off.
"Now I'd like to turn to the newest addition to the Apple family. Of course I'm talking about the Apple Watch," said CEO Tim Cook before starting a parade of reveals.
Cook sees the watch as a personal statement
"The Apple Watch is the most personal device we have ever created," the CEO said. "It's not just with you, it's on you."
Cook explained that he saw the watch, or watches in general, as a statement of who a person is, and he said the Apple Watch was designed accordingly. "We designed Apple Watch to appeal to a whole variety of people with different tastes and different preferences," he said.
It's actually a really good watch
While telling time is probably not the key reason most people will buy an Apple Watch, Cook called it "the most advanced timepiece ever created," and touted its ability to provide the time to rather impressive detail.
"Apple Watch is incredibly accurate," he said, explaining that it was accurate to within 15 milliseconds of the universal time standard. "That means it's super-accurate and you don't have to worry about it."
It offers glances
One of the key features of a traditional watch is that is allows its owner to see the time with a glance. Apple has sought to recreate this experience for its watch, but moving beyond time into other information people check often.
Swiping the bottom of the device's screen allows users to get what Apple is calling a "Glance," a look at information like weather or sports scores that requires little more than a quick peak.
"You can even check your heart rate," Cook said as he shared some of the information that could be set to work with Glances.
It's a phone, too -- sort of
Apple Watch can be used to place and receive phone calls, functionality Cook said he had wished for since he was five.
"The day is finally here," he said.
The Watch, however, is not a phone on its own. It still requires the user to have an iPhone. The Watch does allow for calls without taking that phone out of your pocket.
Apple Watches can talk to each other
Touching the watch's side button allows an Apple Watch owner to link his or her device to a friend's. After doing this, information can be shared directly between the two -- as can less useful things.
Cook demonstrated how he could doodle with his finger on his watch's screen and instantly share that drawing with his connected friend as it gets drawn.
"You can also tap your watch to get your friend's attention," he said. "And you can even send your heartbeat. This is an incredibly intimate way to tell someone you are thinking about them."
There's a $10,000 version
Some people were a little shocked that Apple Watch starts at $349 when a number of existing wearables being marketed have failed to sell despite costing less than $200 (and some even less than $100). Still, Apple has always sold its phones and tablets at a premium price, so $349 is not particularly surprising, but the fact that the company will also be selling a version of the watch for $10,000 is.
Dubbed the Watch Edition, the $10,000 product has a 38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold Case.
"There will be limited quantities of the Watch Edition," said Cook, who acknowledged that $10,000 was just the starting point. "The Apple Watch Edition is the most beautiful expression of the Apple Watch."
That is almost certainly true, but $10,000 for a watch that has technology likely to be outdated soon might be a hard sell, even for Apple.