It’s about time the Apple Watch got a face lift.
The tech giant unveiled its new watch – Apple Watch Series 4 from the Steve Jobs Theater that is placed in the Apple headquarters. The new watch has a bigger face, and features its own Electrocardiogram and Fall Detection. It will have new speakers and a new processor chip that should provide much faster speeds for the watch.
The new watch will start at $399 for the Series 4 model, $499 for the LTE model. Preorders will start on mid September, and the watches will be available on the end of September in shops.
“Apple Watch is not only the Number 1 smartwatch, it’s the Number 1 watch, period” – Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event.
Apple doesn’t reveal any sales figures what so ever for the device, but marketers estimates that almost half of the 43.5 million smartwatches that will be sold this year will come from Apple.
Google’s Wear OS falls behind at 12 percent. Android Wear, the older brother of Google’s watch-optimized software that is still used by some, should total 18 percent of sales. By 2022, Android Wear and Wear OS, putting together, are expected to catch up to Apple Watch series sales. Qualcomm announced its newest next-generation smartwatch chip platform, which promises better battery life and GPS fitness-tracking improvements and enhancements.
While they are not the first company to introduce a smartwatch, Apple immediately made waves in that department when it introduced the first ever Apple Watch in early 2015. Its most recent version, the Apple Watch Series 3 with a 4G LTE modem, hit the market pretty late this last year.
The smartwatches are getting more options and capabilities on each upgrade, as WatchOS 5 that was revealed in June at WWDC, and introduced watch-to-watch walkie-talkie, and audio from third-party apps on the run. Previous improvements for the Apple Watch are GPS and water resistance for swimming.
The watch’s accelerometer and gyroscope has dramatically improved so that the watch can now know or assume if the person wearing it is falling. If there’s an accident, the watch can make a call to emergency services, or to a family member for example.
“The Fall detection feature is something that we hope you will never need but it’s really a good thing to know it’s there” – Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
The speakers have also improved, and now provides 50 percent louder volume, and it’s screen is 30 percent larger. It’s new chip, the S4, will make the watch perform at least twice as fast. On the big screen, you can have up to 8 shortcuts for apps. The speakers will now be 50 percent louder for calls and interacting with Siri. The battery life can last up to 18 hours, and outdoor workout time has increased and can provide up to 6 hours of battery life, Apple said.
The feature that received the most attention in the crowd came in response to the electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) feature, which allows the person who wears it to have a heart sensor on their wrists.
“The biggest feature add to Watch besides the larger viewable image area was its heart health features, in particular, its ability to perform an ECG and also can detect AFib. Add that to Fall Detection and notification and I can see kids buying one for their parents and grandparents” Patrick Moorhead – analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.
It’ll come in three colors to be paired with its aluminum finish, in silver, gold and gray. The stainless steel versions are paired with ‘polished black’ and ‘space black’, as well as a new gold color.