The countdown has begun to Apple Inc.’s next big thing: the Watch.
The company on Thursday sent out invitations to an event on March 9 in San Francisco, where it will unveil details for the release of the Apple Watch, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Optimism about Apple has been growing since Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook first took the wraps off the smartwatch, along with larger-screened iPhones, in September. The new phones helped fuel record profit in the last three months of 2014. Apple shares are trading near all-time highs, giving the company a market capitalization of about $758 billion. The event gives Cook the chance to show off the gadget’s capabilities and convince consumers they need one.
“The development community has had at least three months to start writing apps so I think they’ll profile some of the best apps,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Inc. “It will start giving us reasons for why we may want the watch.”
Cook said last month that the smartwatch will ship in April. The connected, fitness-tracking wristwatch is the first entirely new gadget line to debut since he took the helm at Cupertino, California-based Apple. The company hasn’t given much information about the gadget’s battery life or how much models will cost, other than $349 for the basic version.
“Spring forward,” reads the invitation to the event, to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater at 10 a.m. The headline refers to the annual switch to daylight savings time, when Americans move their clocks and watches forward by one hour. This year, the time shift begins on March 8, a day before Apple’s event. The event’s focus will be Apple Watch, said the person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not be identified because the topic wasn’t made public.
Apple Watch, with a rectangular touch-screen face, includes sensors to detect pulse rates and other health-related features and must be paired with an iPhone to work properly. It will come in two sizes and three styles -- classic, sports and gold editions. The company may give more details about styles and prices at the event.
“The creativity and the software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting,” Cook said when he announced the watch would begin shipping in April.
Morgan Stanley has projected Apple Watch will generate $8.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015, including $1.35 billion in the March quarter, while RBC Capital Markets said Apple could “conservatively” generate $6.5 billion from 20 million watch shipments.
At a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference earlier this month, Cook talked about uses for the watch, saying he uses it to track his activity levels.
“If I sit for too long it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move because a lot of doctors believe that sitting is the new cancer,” he said. “It’s something that you’re going to think, ‘I can’t live without this anymore.’”