Apple introduces new, larger Apple Watch with bigger screen
Published 6:00 PM EDT Sep 12, 2018
CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple has a new look for the Apple Watch.
The fourth generation of Apple Watch will have a face that’s 30 percent larger and a speaker that’s 50 percent louder, Apple said Wednesday at a press event here.
In what was touted as a breakthrough by Apple execs, the new watch can now do ECG heart tests, which was endorsed onstage by the American Heart Association, and Apple said it received FDA clearance.
“It’s redefining what a watch can do for you. We have reimagined the Watch,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
The Series 4 edition of the Watch starts at $399, or $499 with cellular service as an add-on, and will be available Sept. 21. The price of the Series 3 watch, currently selling for $329, has been lowered to $279. effective Wednesday.
Fitbit’s stock dropped about 6 percent on news of the updated Apple Watch, to about $5.59 in midday trading. Apple’s stock is fluctuating but also was down a little more than 1 percent at $221.27.
The Watch was first introduced in September 2014. But it wasn’t released until the following spring, with an initial sales prices that was all over the map – starting at $349 but going to around $500 depending upon which band accessory was added, all the way up to $17,000 for a gold edition.
Originally, you could only get notifications on texts and read emails if the phone was nearby the Watch. But with the cell service add-on, announced at last year’s Apple event, consumers could, say, run with the Watch without also having the phone in their pocket. “That really changed the value of the Watch,” analyst Gene Munster of Loup Venture said.
When prices came down and word of mouth started to spread, sales for the Watch took off, Munster said. “People felt there was more to it than just fitness tracking.”
Munster estimates that Apple has sold 15 million Watches to date, tiny for Apple, which sells more than 200 million iPhones yearly and more than 40 million iPads, but it’s still a substantial number, he says.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham