SAN FRANCISCO - Make calls, read e-mail, control music, manage Instagram photos, keep up with your workout, pay for groceries, open your hotel room door. CEO Tim Cook says you can do it all from your wrist with Apple Watch - for 18 hours a day. That's how long the battery will last on an average day.
Preorders start April 10, the same day potential customers can see the watch in Apple Stores, though sales begin April 24. The device costs $349 for a base model, while a luxury gold version will start at $10,000 and a few select stores will have ones reaching to $17,000.
Industry watchers are eager to see if Apple's version will be the tipping point for the sluggish smart watch market. There was similar skepticism when Apple released the iPad in 2010, yet the company has successfully sold millions and its popularity has shaken up the PC market.
The stakes are high for a company that just dislodged AT&T as one of the 30 stocks comprising the venerable Dow Jones industrial average. The watch is the first brand-new device Apple has launched since the death of CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple is entering a market in which numerous tech companies are already selling smart watches, from the Samsung Gear and Motorola's Moto 360 to the Pebble Steel and other models made by smaller start-ups. Many run on Android Wear, the software platform from Google. They range in price from $100 to $500 or more, but most don't have as many features as the Apple Watch, and they have not been big hits with consumers.
Cook directed Apple's big event here Monday, unveiling a shiny, skinny and silent MacBook weighing in at just two pounds that the company says is the world's most energy-efficient laptop.
Apple also has unveiled a new deal between Apple TV and HBO, touted growth in iPhone sales and Apple Pay adoption, and announced a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centers develop apps for patients.
It cut the price of Apple TV by $30 to $69 and is partnering with HBO to offer its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Go, on Apple devices in time for the Game of Thrones premiere April 12. It will cost $14.99 monthly.
Cook said 2,500 banks are now signed up with Apple Pay, which is available in 700,000 retail locations nationwide.
Apple also is releasing an update to its iOS software for iPhones on Monday that includes an Apple Watch app.
You won't be able to use it yet, but you can see some of the customization options and other features to come.