Apple introduces series of new gadgets in San Francisco


tech_apple_watchreuters
Photo by ROBERT GALBRAITH |

Reuters | Photo taken by Robert Galbraith of Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015. 


Apple has finally revealed the full details of the Apple Watch, which will be released for sale starting April 24, according to their website.

Here’s what we already know: there will be two Watch face-sizes, 38 and 42 millimeters, and there will be three different versions: the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

The Apple Watch was initially announced at an event in fall 2014, but some of the most important bits of information, such as battery life and price for all but Apple Watch Sport, were unknown until an event in California on March 9.

Some of the details announced yesterday are important but mundane like the expected 18 hours of battery life, according to the Apple website.

Other details might spark interest, like the fact that the least-expensive Edition model starts at $10,000. It appears Apple thinks the Watch is a device in a category of its own or at least wants to make it seem that way.

Apple also announced a totally refreshed MacBook yesterday.

The new MacBook is the thinnest and lightest laptop ever designed out of Cupertino.

In fact, it is so thin that Apple had to remove all ports except for a new reversible USB-C port, which is about the same size as a micro-USB or Lightning port you might find on a smartphone.

Many might be shocked to know there will be no full-size USB ports on the laptop. However it is worth noting that Apple was also the first major PC-manufacturer to drop CD drives with the introduction of the MacBook Air in 2008.

It seems that Apple believes the future is wireless and promotes that philosophy all over its website for the new MacBook.

The new MacBook has a 12-inch “retina” 2304 x 1440 display and “all-day” battery life, according to the Apple website.

It weighs two pounds and is 13.1 millimeters thin. Moreover, it comes in gold and space grey, in addition to the usual silver. The new MacBook starts at $1,299.

The Apple Watch charges through a magnetic MagSafe port under the face, where the device touches your wrist when you’re wearing it, according to the Apple website. As a result of this, using the Watch while you charge does not seem easy.

The Apple Watch will come in a few different colors and materials depending on which edition it falls under. There are several different replaceable bands, ranging from inexpensive rubber bands to full-on stainless steel bands.

The least expensive Sport model, which has an aluminum casing, will cost $349 for the 38-millimeter version and jump to $399 for the 42-millimeter version, according to the Apple website.

The standard version of the Apple Watch starts at $549 and comes with the same rubber band as the Sport version, justifying its higher price with a stainless steel case and sapphire crystal display.

The “Space Black” Watch is the most expensive version before the Edition and will run $1,049 for the 38-millimeter and $1,099 for the 42-millimeter version, according to Apple.

The Apple Watch Edition comes in 18-karat rose or yellow gold and starts at $10,000. The top-of-the-line version, which has no additional features beyond the luxurious materials, will set you back a hefty $17,000.

Rich Tessel, an employee at Sonny’s Jewelers in Morganville who has more than 30 years of experience as a jeweler, said he doesn’t think that the traditional watch market has anything to fear from the Apple Watch.

The people who buy luxury watches wouldn’t consider a digital variant unless they’re explicitly looking for a smartwatch, Tessel said. The main difference is the watch’s long-term value.

“A true high-end watch, a Rolex or something similar, is a piece of art you wear on your wrist,” he said. “They are hand-made over months or years and have incredibly high resale value. This thing will probably be outdated in two years.”

An all-gold men’s Rolex Daytona, arguably the type of watch Apple is comparing the Edition to, costs over $30,000, Tessel said.

It’s worth noting the Apple Watch doesn’t have the same solid-gold band as a luxury watch like a Rolex, he said.

Even the top-tier $17,000 model comes with a leather band, according to the Apple website. Apple is not offering all-gold bands to date.

Although Apple never called its Watch a “smartwatch,” Google has been selling Android Wear smartwatches for months now and most models run closer to $300 than $1,000.

Pebble, the popular Kickstarter project turned into a legitimate smartwatch business, just announced a new color version that has week-long battery life compared to the Apple Watch’s 18 hours.

That being said, Apple is Apple. People get excited over anything new that comes out of Cupertino, and Apple has massive strength in its marketing ability.

Apple is doing its best to position its Watch as a device that straddles fashion and technology — only time will tell if they succeed.


Tyler Gold

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