Apple Watch to Launch April 24

Apple has announced April 24 as the launch date for its first Apple Watch.

The company will introduce three versions of the device — Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition — with a limited-edition version to start at $10,000. The entry version starts at $349, with the mid-range watch priced at $549. Each features their own watch bands and faces. Pre-orders start April 10.

The smartwatch is Apple’s first new product in four years — and one of the first that won’t be able to play video, at least initially.

A number of companies, including ESPN, CNN, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and MLB.com, will provide text and photo alerts to wearers of the Apple Watch.

In addition, Fandango has developed an app to sell movie tickets and provide showtimes for films to the device, Uber will enable cars to be ordered, Starwood’s SPG app will allow one to open a hotel room door, and American Airlines will allow users to check in via the watch.

The watch will also support Apple Pay, with credit cards stored on the watch, enabling consumers to purchase items in stores including Whole Foods with the device.

Fandango will display a digital barcode to the Apple Watch screen that ticket takers can scan in theaters. The device will also provide reminders of a film’s showtime, directions to theaters and a countdown to the start of the screening.

Fandango was the only film-related app that was showcased during Apple’s announcement on Monday.

“Fandango continues to build award-winning iOS apps that leverage Apple’s latest technologies including Siri and Passbook, enabling fans to easily discover new movies, get the latest trailers, information and buy tickets,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover. “We’re excited to be one of the first apps available for Apple Watch,which takes moviegoing to a whole new level by providing quick access, once you’ve purchased tickets, to movie times, theater location and more movie info conveniently on your wrist. We think the Apple Watch will ignite consumer excitement and help build momentum for this category.”

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