Apple Watch: Things we need to know

There's a lot we already know about the Apple Watch, but there's also a lot that we don't. Here are some questions I hope we will get answers to.

Next week Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next week to, we believe, tell us more about Apple's newest line of products - the Apple Watch.

We found out a lot about the Apple Watch during the September 2014 event when it was announced. We know what it looks like, we know that there are two sizes (38mm and 42mm case sizes)' we know that there are three 'collections' (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and the Apple Watch Edition, a total of 34 models), we know that it will start at $350. We also know it will come in a range of finishes and straps.

On the tech front there's also a lot that we know. The display is a flexible retina unit ranging from 290 to 302 pixels-per-inch based on screen size. The case will be offered in composite and ceramic (depending on model) and the lens will be either strengthened glass or sapphire (again depending on model).

The Apple Watch will be powered by a custom S1 processor, will run Watch OS, feature a Digital Crown, feature custom MagSafe inductive charger, and come equipped with a raft of sensors.

Now this is the stuff we already know, and while I'm sure that someone will refresh our memory about this stuff during the event, what I'm more interested in is the things we don't know.

  • Battery life: Apple has already said that the Apple Watch will need daily recharging, but it would be good to know just how much usage to expect from the device.
  • How many apps: Will Apple's big-name devs have all the bases covered?
  • Killer app or feature: When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch everything about who it was aimed at felt vague and wooly. I couldn't narrow down whether it was a tool or an expensive bauble. I want to see killer features of apps demoed.
  • Where's the focus: Consumer? BYOD? Enterprise? Fashion?
  • Price: "Starting at $350" doesn't tell us much more than the minimum buy-in. What's the top end?
  • Waterproof or not: Sweatproof? Showerproof? Swimming proof? Given the amount of bad luck I've had over the years with sweat destroying Apple earphones, unless Apple offers some guarantees I'd be reluctant to take an Apple Watch into the gym with me.
  • Third-party accessories: Will we see things such as third-party bands being supported?
  • Product lifespan: There's a big difference between spending a few bucks on a watch and a few hundred (or few thousands). Given that the Apple Watch starts at $350 and we haven't been told how high the price goes, what sort of lifespan can buyers expect from the Apple Watch? After all, a premium watch is something that can be passed down the generations, but the battery in this is unlikely to last 10 years.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is the gaps this opens up. For example, when Apple unveiled the first iPhone, all that space on the Home screen for more icons made it clear that apps were coming. When Apple unveiled the iPad, it got us thinking about smaller iPads or bigger iPhones (both of which we now have). What gaps will the Apple Watch open up for future products and services?

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