Apple Officially Announced the New Apple Watch

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Apple Officially Announced the New Apple Watch

The fourth generation of Apple Watch will have a face that’s 30% larger and a speaker that’s 50% louder, Apple said Wednesday, at a press event here.

In what was touted as a breakthrough by Apple execs here, the new watch can now do ECG heart tests, which was endorsed on stage by the American Heart Association and Apple said received FDA clearance.

“It’s redefining what a watch can do for you. We have re-imagined the Watch,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Series 4 edition of the Watch starts at $399, or $499 with cellular service as an add-on and will be available September 21. The price of the Series 3 watch, currently selling for $329, has been lowered to $279. effective today.

Fitbit’s stock dropped about 6 percent on news of the updated Apple Watch, to about $5.59 in midday trading. Apple’s stock is fluctuating but also was down a little more than 1 percent at $221.27.

The Watch was first introduced in September 2014. But it wasn’t released until the following spring, with an initial sales prices that was all over the map – starting at $349 but going to around $500 depending upon which band accessory was added, all the way up to $17,000 for a gold edition.

Originally, you could only get notifications on texts and read emails if the phone was nearby the Watch. But with the cell service add-on, announced at last year’s Apple event, consumers could, say, run with the Watch without also having the phone in their pocket. “That really changed the value of the Watch,” analyst Gene Munster of Loup Venture said.