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Gadgets

Apple Watch coming April 24, priced from $349 to beyond $10,000

Apple reveals pricing details about the mid- and top-tier versions of its highly anticipated wearable. Preorders will begin April 10.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced more details about the Apple Watch. Apple

If you want to sport the high end versions of the Apple Watch, it will cost you.

The 18-karat gold version of the watch starts at $10,000. The most expensive version of the watch on Apple's website is $17,000.

The midtier version, made of stainless steel, will be $549 to $1,049 for the smaller watch, depending on the type of band. For the larger size, the price is $599 to $1,099.

The starting price for the smaller basic version, made of aluminum, is $349. The larger sibling is $399.

The watch will be available for preorder and preview on April 10. It will be sold April 24 in Apple Stores in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and China.

In the UK, the most basic version starts at £299, the midtier at £479, and the top-end at £8,000. In Australia, the cheapest version starts at AU$499, the midtier at AU$799, and the high-end gold version at AU$14,000.

"We crafted each one of them with the care you would expect from Apple," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, during a press event in San Francisco on Monday.

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For Apple, the watch will play a key role in expanding beyond its current iPhone franchise. The company is more reliant on its smartphone than ever before, with about 70 percent of its December quarter sales coming from the device. It has looked to the Apple Watch and to the Apple Pay mobile payments service as new products with strong potential, and it also is exploring ways to revitalize its struggling iPad business.

Cook, introducing the Apple Watch in September before more than 2,000 people, called the smartwatch a "breakthrough" product. He described it as a "comprehensive" health and fitness device, walkie-talkie and remote control for the Apple TV streaming-box. Those factors alone set the Apple Watch apart from other smartwatches on the market, which tend to simply track steps, provide notifications, and run very basic apps.

The Apple Watch marks Apple's first new product category since the "magical" iPad in 2010. It's also the first new push by the company under Cook's tenure.

The watch comes in two sizes (42mm or 38mm) and three designs -- the aluminum-cased Apple Watch Sport, stainless-steel-cased Apple Watch and the 18K-gold-clad Apple Watch Edition. The aluminum comes with silver or space gray options, while the stainless steel comes in its namesake color or a space black version. The gold watch is available in 18-karat yellow gold or 18-karat rose gold.

There also are a variety of bands that can be easily swapped, including a Milanese loop of metal mesh with magnets, a leather band that auto-attaches, a segmented metal link band, a classic leather watch band, a leather loop band, and a more plasticized sport band in bright colors.

The devices must be paired with an iPhone, and are compatible with the iPhone 5 , 5C, 5S, 6, and 6 Plus. Sadly, earlier iPhones are excluded, as are other phone platforms like Google's Android operating system and Microsoft's Windows.