The Apple Watch was the featured attraction at Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Event last week, and while the press was sensational history has taught us always to be wary of first-generation Apple products (case in point: my brother-in-law bought the first IPhone for $800 and four months later a better, faster version was released for $400). To recap Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event: Amidst much speculation Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the Apple Watch (all models) will have 18 hours of battery life on a single charge, and you’ll get 8 GB of storage with 2 GB allotted for music and 75MB for photos. There is a model for everyone, ranging from $349 to $17,000(!) depending on your budget and style preference. The Apple Watch will be available beginning on April 24 with preorders starting on April 10.
Sports Lover: $349-$399. The anodized aluminum and Ion-X glass Sports model comes with a fluoroelastomer (synthetic rubber) band in Space Gray or Silver. Apple will sell bands separately between $49 and $449, with additional magnetic chargers costing $29 for a 1-meter cable and $39 for a 2-meter cable.
Business Casual: $549-$1,099. The next tier model is stainless steel, comes in two sizes, two colors (polished stainless steel and space black) and with a display that’s laminated in scratch resistant sapphire. Prices for the 38mm and 42mm devices, including a black or white Sports Band, start at $549/$599. The stainless steel–link bracelet raises the price to $1,099 for the 42mm model.
Jay Z: $10,000-$17,000. For those in the highest tax brackets the Watch Edition will be an eye-catching status symbol. Also available in 38mm and 42mm sizes, the Watch Edition features sapphire crystal displays and are made of solid 18k Rose or Yellow gold. This version of the watch will be a limited edition, a logical decision given the price tag.
Summary: These watches are big. While they may be wearable for men without too much fanfare they are too big for most women to wear without making a major statement about your commitment to tech (is your watch really the first thing you want people to notice about you?) Also, the watches are expensive when one considers that they are almost outdated upon arrival and the wearer will most likely want an upgrade to the smaller version that will probably arrive next spring (or sooner). The 18-hour battery life on a single charge sounds nice until you realize that in addition to your phone, your IPad, and your computer, you will have to charge your watch. EVERY NIGHT. All of that being said, I wouldn’t say no to a rose-gold Watch Edition for a mere $10,000, as long as someone else is paying.
The 12-inch Macbook is a thing of beauty. It was the gold (yes, gold) Macbook I found myself daydreaming about instead of any of the Apple Watches. It has a 3 million–pixel Retina Display, weighs just 2 pounds (the next lightest Apple product is the 11-in MacBook Air weighing in at 2.38 lbs) and is only 13.1mm thick. And for the first time, Apple’s new Macbook will come in gold, silver, and space-gray. The Macbook promises a very reasonable 9 hours of battery life and has a larger trackpad with haptic feedback (the use of tactile technology, or sense of touch, to provide information) and support for Force touch (new technology that can distinguish between light touch and deep touch). Apple incorporated a new butterfly mechanism for the keyboard keys, which makes them 40% thinner and four times more stable (for greater precision typing) than traditional keys.
One port: The 12-inch Macbook is the first Apple product to adopt USB-C, which combines power, data and video output in a single, reversible port. It uses low power 1/1GHz and 1.2 GHz Intel Core M processors with Intel HD Graphics 5300, which let it have a fanless design with silent (and cool) operation. The Macbook will ship on April 24 (same date the Apple Watch will be in stores), and prices start at $1,299 for the model with 256GB of storage and $1,599 for twice that amount of storage and a slightly faster chip. Both models come with 8GB of RAM and, for now, neither can be upgraded to more.
What don’t you get? A MagSafe power plug or any of the old ports from previous models (except for a place to plug in your headphones), which means most people will need an adapter for older peripherals. Also, the camera quality isn’t as good as what you get on the MacBook air.
HBO Exclusive Partnership
One of the big surprises from Apple’s “Spring Forward” event was the announcement by HBO CEO Richard Plepler of an exclusive partnership between Apple and HBO for HBO’s stand-alone streaming device, HBO Now. Beginning on April 12, just in time for the premiere of the “Game of Thrones,” only Apple device owners can access HBO Now via Apple TV, Ipads, Iphones and HBONow.com. With more than 2,000 titles, including “Girls,” “The Sopranos,” and “Veep,” available for only $14.99 per month, our AFScott at Home head Matt Sutte says, “This is the death knell for cable TV. Soon having cable will seem like 1999.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple now has 453 retail locations in 16 countries and six of the 21 stores in China opened within the last two months. Wow. He elaborated that their global presence allowed Apple to reach 120 million customers in its retail stores in just the last quarter. Apple Pay, Apple’s digital wallet, continues to expand its reach with 2,500 card-issuing banks and 700,000 locations across the US. Why shouldn’t my wallet, like everything else I use on a daily basis, come with an apple on top? With this latest “Spring Forward” event Apple cements their commitment to innovation and shaping the future of technology as we know it.