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The world is preparing for Apple’s upcoming keynote event on Monday 9th March, where it is widely expected to announce further details on the upcoming Apple Watch.
Monday’s event will be six months on from the product’s initial unveiling, to the day. How’s that for timekeeping?
The event is significantly titled ‘Spring Forward’, a not-so-subtle reference to daylight savings time as well as an invitation to take a leap into unchartered technological territory. This is just one of the hints dropped by Apple to get the media excited ahead of the event. Apple are smart. They don’t do this stuff by accident.
The hype train has been steadily gaining speed since the Apple Watch was announced, but this last week has seen expectation cranked up another gear or two. Sleek promotional shots of models wearing the watch have popped up in Vogue and the Sunday Times Style Magazine, and the Apple Watch has already been granted the esteemed Gold iF design award despite not even being released yet.
So what do we know so far about the Apple Watch? The details have been shrouded in mystery, with a fairly tight lid kept on specifics of pricing and release dates prior to official announcements. It was documented recently that Apple employees testing the watch in public had to wear models disguised as rival Samsung watches to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Here are a few of the topics Apple are forecast to cover on Monday…
When will you be able to get your hands on the device? Well, last September Apple declared that the watch would be released in ‘early 2015’. More recently Tim Cook clarified that the watch will begin shipping in April, although it wasn’t clear if this would be just for the US.
He’s since been spotted in an Apple Store in Germany telling patrons that Germany – and presumably the rest of Europe – would be getting the product in April as well. It’s a shoe-in that Apple will be confirming the global release schedule at the presentation.
How much will the different versions cost? Apple will be expected to give more information on pricing structures for the three watch versions at the media event. So far all we know is that the watch will start from $349.
The assumption – although it has not been stated explicitly – is that this price tag relates to the Apple Watch Sport, which is made of cheaper materials than the standard Apple Watch. We also have to take into account the Apple Watch Edition, the 18-karat gold version aimed squarely at the existing high-end watch market.
Those for whom wearing a gold watch is the accepted norm will be waiting with bated breath to find out the exact figures, but it is expected to be priced well into the thousands.
We already know a fair bit about the main features of the Apple Watch: glances, notifications, taptics, health tracking. Most apps run in the background on an accompanying iPhone with the watch merely showing the fruits of the phone’s hard labour.
All are documented in more detail in trademark Apple style on the official product page.
However, at the event Apple will likely reveal more information on the flagship apps we can expect to be using at launch. The website WatchAware has mocked up some animated previews of many of the main apps we will be seeing upon release.
Although not showing off anything like full functionality, the collection is well worth a look for an idea of what the watch will be capable of doing. There are still many people wondering what purpose the Apple Watch could serve for them – an announcement on more specific apps could finally get those on the fence properly excited about the prospect of wearable tech.
Much of the discussion thus far has been about the prospective battery life of the Apple Watch.
It’s difficult to fit a powerful battery into such a small device and critics have been concerned that the watch may not even last a full day of on-off usage without charging.
The recent unofficial announcement of Power Reserve mode – a low power mode which just shows the watch face and nothing more – will silence those critics to some extent, but the event will be a chance for Apple to make their case clear on the matter.
Will Apple be talking about anything else?
With so much focus on the Apple Watch, you may not expect any other announcements to get a look in at the presentation for fear of deflecting attention from the main event. However, it’s not unusual for Apple to announce multiple products at a single event – not unlike the Columbo-esque ‘oh, just one more thing’ Apple Watch reveal last September. Right after announcing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
So what else might they be talking about come Monday?
Any one of Apple’s products could conceivably receive an update – save perhaps the iPhone, which has historically been announced yearly at the September keynote.
Strong contenders for Spring Forward announcements are a rumored new 12″ Macbook Pro, or the long-anticipated Retina Macbook Air. There’s also a chance we will see new versions of Apple TV or Mac Pro, and there are vague whispers of a new, bigger iPad to come at some point this year. Especially considering Apple has a record of launching new iPad models in March – we may just get a surprise in the form of iPad Pro or iPad Plus.
Any big shocks?
Is there anything Apple could announce on Monday that would truly shock the world? Something nobody is serious expecting? Well, there has of course been news recently about Apple potentially developing an electric car.
It would be a big surprise if they were to dilute the Apple Watch attention with such a big revelation, but an Apple Car announcement would certainly get the world talking.