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Apple Watch Announcement

Apple Watch Announcement
by Daniel Payne on 03-09-2015 at 1:00 pm

Rock music, invitation only tickets, hollywood lighting, journalists from around the world, live streaming on the web, yes, another typical Apple-orchestrated product launch on Monday, March 9th at the Yerba Buena Center in California.

Up first was a video about Apple’s store opening in West Lake China with superb cinematography. Tim Cook strolled on stage to thunderous applause and talked about opening more stores in China and around the world, with some 120 million customer visits last quarter.

Apple TV
Apple TV has lots of streaming content choices, and now you can get HBO too. Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO read from a prompter instead of addressing the audience. Special one day pricing of $69.00 for AppleTV, instead of $99.00.

iPhone
iPhone sales have now reached 700 million units since inception. Apple Pay has now up to 2,500 banks supporting it, with some 700,000 locations to use it.

CarPlay
CarPlay will soon be working in all major brands of cars, with some 40 car models shipping in 2015 with support.

HomeKit
HomeKit developers have produced 90 apps so far, making the home a bit smarter place.

HealthKit
HealthKit has piqued the interest of medical researchers, especially for getting volunteers into medical testing studies. ResearchKit is a way for medical researchers to continuously gather medical information using iPhone and HealthKit, thanks to a dozen major medical institutions. You sign up for these research studies using your iPhone and special apps. Initial uses for ResearchKit are: Parkinson’s, cardiovascular, asthma, breast cancer. Privacy is central to the adoption of such apps, and Apple never sees your medical data. ResearchKit will be Open Source, so there’s hope potentially Android users as well.

Mac
This product line has outgrown the industry for the past 10 years, with MacBook growing at 21% last year while the laptop segment declined. Phil Schiller introduced the new MacBook with a 12″ display, weighing just 2 pounds and 13.1 mm thin, even thinner than the MacBook Air, and with no fans, starting at $1,299.00. SoC use enabled a 67% smaller circuit board, using the Intel Core M CPU, sorry no break from Intel quite yet. The display is glossy like a mirror, so there’s room for improvement with a matte display in a future release.

The trackpad is more pressure sensitive, and there are multiple batteries with contoured cells providing all-day use. A single connector is the USB-C.

MacBook Air
This gets faster processors, and 2X faster Flash.

MacBook Pro
The tiny 13″ laptop gets newer processors, and longer battery life. I was personally disappointed because I wanted a 17″ MacBook Pro to be brought back after being orphaned in 2011, however it appears that Apple is not interested in providing larger, more powerful laptops.

Apple Watch
Crammed with features, like: Luxury, accurate time piece, variety of faces, customizable, controlled by swiping, traditional crown, single button operation, receive messages, make phone calls, read emails, watch-to-watch doodling, purchase with Apple Pay, view photos, ask Siri, receive notifications and do fitness tracking with motivation.

There’s a WatchKit SDK and developers have been coding new apps, like: Facebook, Twitter, sports, trips, calendar, WeChat, Apple Pay for retail purchases, Instagram, Uber, boarding pass, hotel reservations, unlock hotel room door, Shazam, text messaging, garage door remote.

The Apple Watch really only works with an iPhone, so don’t expect to plug and play with Android any time soon. Battery life is designed to be 18 hours. Three price points are:

  • Apple Watch Sport in silver or space grey with Aluminum alloy, $349 to $399 (two sizes)
  • Apple Watch in stainless steel, $549 to $1,099 (two sizes)
  • Apple Watch Edition in 18kt Gold, $10,000 (two colors)

Bands for the Apple Watch come in a huge variety, and you can pre-order watches on April 10th, shipping on April 24th.

Summary
Apple has the best consumer marketing in the world and with the new Apple Watch they have added yet another new product line that will tantalize the Apple faithful and make competitors green with envy. Full disclosure, I do own AAPL stock, but use an Android phone and will not be buying the Apple Watch.

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