The Apple Watch is a smartwatch developed by Apple Inc. It incorporates fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities with integration with iOS and other Apple products and services. The device is available in four variants: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Hermès, and Apple Watch Edition. The Watch is distinguished by different combinations of cases and first or third party interchangeable bands. Apple Watch relies on a wirelessly connected iPhone to perform many of its default functions such as calling and texting. It is compatible with the iPhone 5 or later models running iOS 8.2 or later, through the use of Bluetooth. Announced by Tim Cook on September 9, 2014, the device was available for pre-order on April 10 and began shipping on April 24, 2015. The Apple Watch quickly became the best-selling wearable device with the shipment of 4.2 million smartwatches in the second quarter of the 2015 fiscal year.
The goal of the Apple Watch was to free people from their phones. Kevin Lynch was brought on by Apple to make wearable technology for the wrist. He said: “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much. People want that level of engagement. But how do we provide it in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?” The Apple Watch works by connecting via Bluetooth to the phone and accessing any Watch compatible apps stored on the mobile device. Apple’s development process was held very much under wraps until a Wired article revealed how some internal design decisions were made.
Unveiling and release
Rumors surrounded an Apple-developed wearable back as far as 2011, which conceptualized the device as a variation of the iPod that would curve around the user’s wrist, and feature Siri integration.
On February 10, 2013, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was beginning to develop an iOS-based smartwatch with a curved display On February 12, 2013, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s smartwatch project was “beyond the experimentation phase in its development”, and had a team of at least 100 designers working on the project. Further reports in March 2013 indicated that Apple planned to release the device by the end of the year. In July 2013, Financial Times reported that Apple had begun hiring more employees to work on the smartwatch, and that it was targeting a possible retail release in late 2014.