Apple launched its first new product category since 2010, with its smartwatch…Prior to the launch Apple's chief executive Tim Cook revealed little about the sophisticated wrist wear, other than that he "can't live without it."
The company announced its plans for Apple Watch last year to much fanfare and has said it would begin shipping in April. It marks Apple's first new product type since the iPad in 2010.
Apple enter a market that already has a number of players, ranging from South Korean giants Samsung and LG, to Japan's Sony and startups such as Pebble.
Motorola, acquired by Chinese giant Lenovo last year, also produces a smartwatch, and China's Huawei introduced its version at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month.
But analysts expect Apple to lift the market by integrating the watch with the iPhone and its software ecosystem, and its range of apps and sensors for health and fitness.
Apple Watch may move the needle on wearable tech
"How Apple creates a cohesive value proposition integrating hardware with software and services is as always the key," said Nick Spencer at ABI Research.
"The three main areas of wellness data and services, Apple Pay, along with creating an intelligent and differentiated relationship between the watch and the smartphone must be the foundations of the Apple Watch proposition."
Apple has indicated that the entry price would be $349 in the United States, and that two different sizes would be available in three collections, including the "Apple Watch Edition," featuring 18-carat gold cases in yellow or rose, sapphire crystal and finely crafted bands and closures.
The watch is also expected to include map software that guides people to destinations with gentle "taps" on the wrist.
Fitness apps on the Apple Watch and its rivals could spell trouble for makers of fitness bands from companies like Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike.
Jan Dawson at Jackdaw Research said Apple must find the right balance for the new device – giving people alerts and notifications when they need them without overwhelming them.
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