A report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that when Apple started to develop the Apple Watch, the device was envisioned by executives to be a state-of-the-art gadget to monitor the health of its wearer.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Apple Watch was first designed to be able to measure the wearer's blood pressure, stress levels and heart activity, among other things.
However, none of these features were able to make it into the final version of what would be Apple's first entry into the wearable device market, which will be released to the public in April.
Some of the health-related features suffered from reliability problems. Some features, on the other hand, were too complex. Other features, according to the sources, may have led to unwanted regulatory oversight.
After the scrapping of these health-related features, executives of Apple struggled to define what the purpose of the Apple Watch should be and why consumers would need or want the smartwatch. As can be seen in the final version of the wearable that is ready to be released, the answer seems to be a little bit of everything.
The Apple Watch is currently a wearable device that doubles as a fashion accessory, allowing wearers to glance at information from their connected iPhone, pay for purchases with Apple Pay, communicate using new methods and track daily activities.
"One of the biggest surprises people are going to have when they start using it is the breadth of what it will do," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an investor conference last week.
Apple, however, declined to comment on the health-related features that did not make it to the final version of the Apple Watch and the change in direction that the company had to take regarding the smartwatch after that.
The Apple Watch presents a potential new driver of growth for Apple, which would ease the company's dependence on sales of its iPhones. For Cook, the success of the Apple Watch will also prove that the company can still develop groundbreaking products even without the guidance of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The Apple Watch will face significant trials though, being required to be within the proximity of an iPhone for full functionality when the smartphone is already capable at carrying out most tasks. In addition, the identity of the device is spread between being a consumer electronic device and a luxury jewelry piece.
As such, the Apple Watch will start at prices at $349 and reach prices likely surpassing $4,000 for the device's high-end, gold-plated versions, which will be among the most expensive Apple products ever made.