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SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc will begin selling its new watch in stores on April 24, with the high-end model starting at $10,000, the company said, rolling out its first new product in five years in a bid to extend its preeminence in mobile devices.
The Apple Watch sport will start at $349 for the smaller, 38-mm model. The standard version of the watch will start at $549 and the high-end "Edition" watch will be priced from $10,000, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Monday.
The different versions of the watch feature different materials for the case: the "Edition" version comes in 18-karat yellow or rose gold, for instance.
Pre-orders will start on April 10, and the April 24 launch will include stores in the United States, China, Japan and six other countries.
Apple shares trimmed earlier gains and were nearly flat in mid-afternoon trade on Nasdaq.
In the presentation, Cook described the watch handling many functions currently associated with the iPhone, which tethers wirelessly to the watch and connects it to the Internet. For instance, Uber cars can be contacted from the watch.
The watch will track exercise, remind wearers of events with a tap on the wrist, and make calls through the tethered phone, since the watch has a built in speaker and microphone, he said.
"I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old," said Cook. He also laid out other product successes and launched a new MacBook notebook computer that starts at $1,299 and weighs as little as 2 pounds.
Every major car brand had committed to delivering Apple's CarPlay entertainment system, and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have 99 percent customer satisfaction rates, he said. The Apple Pay payment system is now accepted at 700,000 locations, and Time Warner Inc's HBO in April will debut its streaming HBO NOW service on Apple TV. — Reuters