Apple trotted out cardiologist Ivor Benjamin, who's also the president of the American Heart Association, during today's product showcase at the Steve Jobs Theatre to tout what he described as the "game-changing" Apple Watch Series 4 the company announced today. The new Watch 4 comes with a bunch of new features and a new design. The displays on both the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watches are over 30 percent larger than the previous generation.
This clearance isn't the first time that an Apple Watch app or accessory has received FDA clearance; a third party band created to be used with the Apple Watch received clearance for heart rate monitoring in November. The pre-orders start Friday and Watch Series 4 will be available from September 21.
Williams described the latest Watch as an "intelligent guardian of your health", noting that Apple got clearance for the ECG app from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the first of its kind.
Apple Watch Series 4 has the same battery life as the previous model, allowing for 18 hours on a single charge.
While the Series 2 Apple Watch didn't support any kind of cellular connectivity, the Series 3 model introduced LTE support, allowing one to make calls from or stream music to their wearable even when their iPhone wasn't near.
The Series 4 will come in silver, gold and space gray, as well as two polished stainless steel varieties. Williams also said the back of the new Apple Watch is made entirely of black ceramic and sapphire crystal.
The new Apple Watch may help the company capture more of the smartwatch market as we head into the typically lucrative holiday buying season. Second, Series 4 can screen your heart rhythm and will send you a notification if it detects an irregular heart rhythm. Cellular models with aluminum cases and a sport band will start at $499 for a 40-mm Watch and $529 for the 44-mm version.
Irregular heart rhythm and ECG features will be available to USA customers "later this year", Williams said. For one, Series 4 Watches will regularly keep an eye on the wearer's heart rate in the background, and they'll automatically inform the wearer if their heartbeat shows signs of atrial fibrillation. Apple is also set to ship the 2-billionth device running on iOS, the mobile operating system that powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch models.
The 2018 Apple keynote in Cupertino on September 12 is expected to cover three new iPhone releases, plus news on the next generation of the Apple Watch.
Before the event unveiled the new watch, Cook boasted on the Apple Watch for being the no. 1 smartwatch - and no. 1 watch in general - in the world, praising its breakthrough technology that helps people "stay connected, be more active and live a healthier day".
A almost edge-to-edge display - Apple says the screen is 30% larger than previous versions.
"Fitness is at the core of Apple Watch, encouraging you to be more active by closing your rings and tracking your workouts", said Williams. The user interface (UI) has also been redesigned.