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At the end of January, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the Apple Watch, the vaunted smart timepiece introduced in September, would start shipping in April. The lowest-end version of the watch is the Apple Watch Sport, which rumors believe will start at about $350. The high-end 18K gold version, called Apple Watch Edition, might fetch $3,000.
Fancy lawyers will (and do) pay well over $350 for a fancy watch, but is the Apple Watch worth it? Critics have predicted the watch will be a flop, much like the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Apple Watch, though, packs enough features into its 38 mm body that lawyers who have to have The Next Big Thing might actually find it useful.
The Apple Watch seems to have a lot going for it. You can receive notifications and alerts on it, check your email, and text. And it will support Apple Pay, so you can spend money faster than you ever thought possible.
Of immediate interest to lawyers are those notifications and alerts, as well as timers for tracking those billable hours you can never seem to get enough of. As a productivity tool, the Apple Watch seems like a natural extension of something like an iPhone. But will it support voice calling? FaceTime? Will we actually see the Dick Tracy watch we always dreamed of? Those questions remain unanswered.
And of course, there are the health and fitness applications, which Apple was keen to point out. Will it make you want to take your Fitbit and throw it in the trash? Maybe. No one is quite sure whether, like the Galaxy Gear, the Apple Watch will need to be in constant communication with an iPhone in order to do anything useful.
Temper your expectations, The Wall Street Journal suggested earlier this week. Rumor has it (and with Apple, that's all you have to go on) that many of the health sensors got nixed in the final version, either because they were too complex or because they would have created the necessity for government regulation.
A September reveal and April release was highly unusual for Apple, which usually doesn't announce a product's existence until it has a finished one. There was only a three-month delay between the announcement of the first iPhone in 2007 and when it went on sale. Normally, making outrageous claims about as-yet-incomplete products and then failing to deliver months later is the province of Apple competitors like Samsung and Microsoft.
Even if the Apple Watch doesn't have the built-in lie detectors we were promised, if it can easily share data with applications on your laptop, it might create a cottage industry of time-tracking and productivity apps that lawyers could really use.