Apple launches smartwatch

The launching of Apple's first new product class in four years has divided critics.

CEO Tim Cook sought to prove that "innovation is alive and well" at Apple this week by launching the tech giant's first new product class in four years.

Apart from two new iPhone models with larger screens, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, consumers will be able to buy an Apple Watch next year. This is meant to be a lightweight complement to the iPhone, with many of the latter's apps, and it is also a fitness and health monitor.

Apple has also introduced Apple Pay, a digital payment service allowing users to make purchases by waving an iPhone in front of a reader. Ultimately, digital payment might imply the end of credit cards.

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What the commentators said

Apple's eagerly anticipated press conference was a damp squib, reckoned Chris Owen on and not just because of the "terrible live streaming" and performance from U2. "It was all a little me too'."

Making smartphones bigger, digital wallets and smartwatches are areas that have already been explored by competitors. "The one area where there isn't an existing competitor is in sending your heartbeat to another wearer of a smartwatch however, this isn't a problem that is actually waiting to be solved."


You may wonder why anyone with a computer in their pocket would need one on their wrist. Then again, I've never believed that anyone really needs an iPad yet Apple has sold over 100 million of them. Apple managed to persuade people that they wanted them.

The Apple Watch "looks highly wantable". And given that millions of people still spend huge sums on stylish watches that do little more than tell the time, they could well splash out for "a stylish watch that provides several kinds of useful information".

Andrew Van Sickle

Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.

After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.

His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.

Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.