We’re one month away from pre-orders for the Apple Watch and some people are going to fork out $10,000 for it. That ought to be the only story from the Apple Spring Forward event in California, but it isn’t.
What were the highlights?
It’s a new laptop
Referred to as the “the strongest Mac lineup we’ve ever had” by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the new MacBook comes with a 12 inch screen, is 4.4mm thinner than the MacBook Air, weighs 0.90 kg (lighter than the MacBook Air) and has a new Force Touch trackpad.
It is not an upgrade of the MacBook Air. It is its own laptop altogether, with the focus for redesign having been a lighter machine with a better screen and a discount on the MacBook price.
The new MacBook is set for release a month from now. There are two versions; one for a variant has 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M with 256 GB Storage is set at $1,299 and $1,599 for the 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M version with 512 GB storage. It’s still pricey especially when you consider the added duty that our local market has to tape onto that asking price.
Apples and Thrones
The price for the Apple TV set-top box has been lowered to $69, but the interesting bit is how it is the exclusive platform for HBO Now which will provide all of HBO’s content, including the new season of Game Of Thrones. It’s being launched in the USA first, and it’s hardly significant for the local market that has other means of sourcing such content.
Apple goes Open Source
A new open source software platform (yes, Apple is on the Open Source tip apparently), ResearchKit, was also introduced. It is meant to help medical researchers harness iOS as a tool for continuous collection and management of data that is gathered from test subjects.
All this is through the creation of specific applications, and last night 5 sample apps for diseases like Parkinson’s and Heart Disease were displayed.
The premise is simple; your iPhone can be used as a powerful medical research tool and depending on your investigative focus, it can be best used with apps that focus on an important area of disease research. It will be interesting to see how some forward-thinking biology or medical students make something out of this.
One more thing…the Apple Watch
What hasn’t been said already about the Apple Watch? Well, last night we heard that Apple Watch apps will have their own app section in the iTunes Store. There we demos of watch apps for Instagram, Uber, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat, Apple Pay (yep, just place your watch against the POS), SPG for hotel check in (I dare RTG or African Sun to introduce that) and Passbook.
Thanks to Alarm.com you can get the watch to open garage doors and handle one or two things around a smart home and it can tell you if you’ve been too inactive. Sounds like Michael Knight would be impressed.
The wait and see really is how fast these watch apps become mainstream, something that might have an effect on how they catch on in the world of Android where most of us reside.
In terms of price, the Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest (I use that word gingerly) at $349 and $399; the stainless steel Apple Watch is set at $549 and $1,049 for the same 2 sizes and the limited release Gold Apple Watch Edition will cost $10,000.
That’s a lot of money for a lot of watch, and I personally don’t get it. Then again, the target market is obviously the well-heeled client base (think Chinese money) that are willing to pay so much for a device that will be overtaken by a newer version in a year.
What are your thoughts on these new releases from Apple? Is $349 or $10,000 worth the spend on a watch?
Images credit: Apple.com