Tim Cook on Apple Watch: 'Sitting is the new cancer'
Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has been espousing the health benefits of the company's forthcoming Apple Watch, claiming that it will encourage owners to be more active.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in San Francisco yesterday, Mr Cook said that the Watch will change the way people live their lives – just like the iPhone and iPad before it.
“If I sit for too long, it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move, because a lot of doctors think sitting is the new cancer,” said Mr Cook.
“Ten minutes before the hour, it will remind you to move. We have a lot of people using the Apple Watch at Apple, and ten minutes before the hour, suddenly they all get up and move. It took a little to get used to, but it’s great.”
The Apple Watch, which is expected to go on sale by the end of March, will come in three versions: 'Sport' in silver or space grey aluminium, 'Standard' in stainless steel, and 'Luxury' in rose or yellow 18 carat gold.
All three models feature a custom heart rate sensor on the rear, which uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect the wearer's heart rate, alongside an accelerometer.
The Watch, according to the company, will provide a "comprehensive picture of your daily activity, suggest customised goals, and reward you for reaching personal fitness milestones."
UK pricing is yet to be announced, but the Watch will retail in the US from $349.
In his on-stage interview at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference, Mr Cook also talked about Apple Pay, which launched in the US in October 2014, and is expected to arrive in the UK later this year.
He said that rollout across the US had been much faster than anticipated, with two thirds of all contactless payments made on Apple Pay during December. However, he emphasised the need for user privacy.
"We believe customers have a right to privacy, and the vast majority of customers don't want people knowing everything about them," said Mr Cook.
"When you make a purchase, we make a little bit of money. It's very simple, very straightforward. You are not our product, that's our product. There's no need for us to know what you're buying, where you're buying, I don’t want to know any of that."
Mr Cook also talked up Apple's efforts in China, where it now has 19 stores, and dismissed suggestions that the company needs to offer a low-cost alternative in order to compete with Android devices.
"We had lots of people telling us we needed to do something different in China to compete. That's a bunch of bull. People everywhere want quality. Not everyone can afford one, but there's a big market there," he said.
Cook’s appearance came as Apple became the world's first $700bn company. The valuation means Apple is almost twice as large as oil major Exxon Mobil, the world’s second largest company by market capitalisation.