The Apple Watch Launched Four Years Ago Today

On April 24, 2015, the original Apple Watch launched in nine countries around the world. Four years later and we are now on the fourth iteration of the wearable device, the Apple Watch Series 4. Over the years Apple has worked on improving Apple Watch with a better and bigger display, water resistance, additional health and fitness features, and more.

applewatch11

Apple Watch (first generation)

As usual for Apple products, rumors about an Apple wearable device began ramping up in the years before the official Apple Watch launch. In 2013, Apple filed a trademark for an "iWatch," despite the fact that the device would eventually be known as the Apple Watch. Apple did the same thing for the iPad, seeking to secure rights for the "iSlate" trademark while also secretly filing trademarks for the official "iPad" name.

As the launch neared, multiple reports suggested that Apple was facing battery life, screen, and manufacturing issues while developing the Apple Watch. Battery life was an ongoing issue for Apple when it was creating Apple Watch, since the company's goal was reportedly to create a device that would last for at least four to five days. This never came to pass, and even the brand new Apple Watch Series 4 requires daily charging, although many people do get around two days of life at times.

edition1

Apple Watch Edition

At an event in September 2014 Apple finally unveiled the Apple Watch, and then waited until a March 2015 event to set an April 24 launch date for the wearable device. On that day, the Apple Watch launched in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan, priced starting at $349 for a 38mm Sport and $399 for a 42mm Sport. Prices increased to between $549 and $1,099 for the stainless steel Apple Watch models, and then to as much as $17,000 for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition.

Apple Watch Bands1

A few Apple Watch bands available at launch

Apple Watch Launch Day Stories

At launch, Apple advertised the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory, with the high-end Edition, the Hermés collection (launched September 2015), and similarly expensive first-party bands, like the Link Bracelet ($500+) and Modern Buckle ($250). The Apple Watch was successful, but the company really hit its stride with the smartwatch once it began encouraging fitness features of the device, like when it partnered with Nike for the Apple Watch Nike+ in 2016. Apple has now discontinued the Apple Watch Edition, lowered the price of some of the more expensive bands, and placed the Apple Watch as a more direct competitor to fitness wearables like the Fitbit.

nikeplusapplewatch


Today, the Apple Watch has grown to become the global smartwatch leader, comprising half of the market in 2018. In total, Apple held 51 percent of the global smartwatch marketshare last year, down from 67 percent in 2017. Despite the drop, Apple remains the "clear market leader" in the U.S. smartwatch market according to the NPD Group. On an earnings call for the first quarter of 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the company's wearables revenue (including products like Apple Watch and AirPods) as "approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company."

As to what's coming this year, the Apple Watch Series 5 might feature a new ceramic casing design when it launches in September 2019. Next year, Apple may add a sleep tracking app to the Apple Watch, encouraging users to wear their Apple Watch while they sleep to track sleep quality and other metrics. The feature is in testing with Apple employees and if the project proves successful, it could be added to the Apple Watch Series 6, accompanied with a low power mode so as to not impact battery life.

apple watch series 4 vs series 3

Apple Watch Series 4 saw the first major form factor change

In the future, Apple is reportedly looking to launch an Apple Watch that lacks physical buttons and instead adopts support for touch and swipe-based gestures along the sides of the casing. Other future Apple Watch additions include placing hardware into the Apple Watch band, blood glucose monitoring, and an Apple Watch with a microLED screen. The Apple Watch may be the first device to receive an Apple-designed microLED display, but the technology is still a "couple of years" from reaching consumers.

If you're interested in reading more about the Apple Watch, be sure to visit our Apple Watch Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

realtuner Avatar
36 months ago
And still meh...
Is like Captain Marvel and Brie Larson... forgettable. We never knew she won an Oscar, is like the stripper in the strip club everybody passes by and nobody notices it. Apple Watch is there. "Let's pretend" because someone with power from upper management likes it. If disappears, nobody will ever notice it.
Millions upon millions of satisfied customers would strongly disagree with you.

However, I'm willing to bet $$$ that all the Apple Watch competitors WISHED what you said was true.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
36 months ago
It was said in these very forums the AW would be a bomb. Who knew a few years later it would lead the segment and incorporate an ekg.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ButteryScrollin Avatar
36 months ago
Isn’t series 4 the fifth Apple Watch?

Original
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
36 months ago
Four years later and we are now on the fourth iteration of the wearable device, the Apple Watch Series 4. Over the years Apple has worked on improving Apple Watch with a better and bigger display, water resistance, additional health and fitness features, and more.
I think you're forgetting to mention that amazing eye-popping, case-popping display. Truly a feat of engineering.

Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbednarz Avatar
36 months ago
And still meh...
Is like Captain Marvel and Brie Larson... forgettable. We never knew she won an Oscar, is like the stripper in the strip club everybody passes by and nobody notices it. Apple Watch is there. "Let's pretend" because someone with power from upper management likes it. If disappears, nobody will ever notice it.
You don't get out much to see just how many of these are out there in the wild, do you?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
36 months ago
And still meh...
Is like Captain Marvel and Brie Larson... forgettable. We never knew she won an Oscar, is like the stripper in the strip club everybody passes by and nobody notices it. Apple Watch is there. "Let's pretend" because someone with power from upper management likes it. If disappears, nobody will ever notice it.
Do you own one? Have you used it daily to establish a conclusion based on experience? I find the Apple Watch to be a fantastic upgrade to my life. I knew it was good, but I never expected it to be THAT good. It's seamlessly connected to my life. Being able to answer calls on my wrist is true freedom.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...