Today In History: The Original Apple Watch Launched On April 24, 2015

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Apple Watch since its release in 2015. It is the first brand-new product to be launched by the company since Tim Cook took charge of Apple. While the wearable gadget was not well received by the tech community at the time, figures have shown how popular the Apple Watch has become: in 2019, Apple shipped 30.7 million units worldwide, while the Swiss watch industry is estimated to have shipped a total of 21.1 million units worldwide over the same period.

The original Apple Watch was expensive and lacked many essential features, not to mention the fact that it relied heavily on a paired iPhone. But at least, it incorporated a range of technologies that we still use today, such as the Digital Crown Scroll Wheel and Activity Rings.

Yet it wasn't until the next year that Apple Watch began to take off. In the fall of 2016, Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 2, which comes with a dual-core S2 chip, built-in GPS, water-resistance up to 50 meters for swimming, and a display that's twice as brighter as the original one. This, of course, in result dramatically improves the user experience of the device.

The arrival of Series 3 had me stunned when it was demonstrated that you can now even place a phone call on your wrist without needing any additional devices, something that folks like me can only perceive in a science fiction film. This is all possible thanks to the debut of LTE cellular connectivity on select models, which also allows you to send messages, stream Apple Music, and more without an iPhone.

Apple Watch Series 4 introduced two major health features, ECG and Fall Detection, while increasing the casing sized and shrunk down the bezels around the display, resulting in wider 40mm and 44mm screens. On a side note, there is also the new S4 chip, rivals iPhone 6s in performance tests.

Finally, the newest member in the lineup, Apple Watch Series 5, was rather a lame update, boasting an always-on display, a built-in compass, 32GB of internal storage, and international emergency calling on cellular models.

Looking into this autumn, it appears that Apple is planning a huge refresh, with rumors suggesting that Apple Watch Series 6 could include sleep tracking, blood oxygen level monitoring, faster performance, upgraded water resistance, and more.

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