Apple declared it was coming second to Rolex in global watch sales, at a San Francisco event announcing the new version of the Apple Watch.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, until 18 months ago the best-selling watch brands were Rolex, Fossil, Omega, Cartier, Citizen, Seiko, Patek Philippe, Longines, Tissot and Casio in that order.
With the launch of the Apple Watch that all changed, Cook told a rapturous audience of Apple enthusiasts, with the device overtaking all but Rolex in the pecking order.
If that comes as a shock to traditionalists, upgrades to the Apple Watch Cook announced at the event will surely rub salt into their wound.
The device gets GPS – no need to have your phone with you while running – better water-resistance and a new dock; it loads apps in an instant; comes with new faces, full screen effects, animated stickers, and more message options including the ability to handwrite replies; and features finessed health apps including a ‘breathe’ reminder to relieve stress.
There’s even one-press access to emergency service assistance, which Cook says “We hope you’ll never need to use it but it’s really comforting to know it’s there.”
For those inclined it even puts Pokemon Go right there on your wrist.
As for the device itself, the Apple Watch 2 is now swim-proof not just splash-proof, with 50-meter water resistance thanks to re-engineering of the case’s seals and adhesives.
This is impressive, with even the integrated speaker corralled to eject water. To achieve such resistance Apple built a simulator to gauge the effects of swimming over hundred of years and thousands of strokes. A relevant app is designed to give calorie-burn figures during your swim.
Other features include a dual-core processor making the watch 50 per cent faster than its predecessor and a second generation display that’s twice as bright – and the brightest of any Apple device.
The Apple Watch 2 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases, all paired with a fresh selection of bands and starting at $529.
There’s also a new ceramic Apple Watch Edition priced at $1799, not forgetting the Apple Watch Hermès at $1779.
You’ll be able to order from Friday, 9 September, with availability in Australia beginning Friday, 16 September.
The Apple Watch 2 will be flanked by a less expensive but upgraded Series 1 version in aluminium, starting price $399; and a special watch for runners developed in collaboration with Nike, starting at $529 and available in October.
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