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Apple Unveils World-Changing Wrist-Band - Live Feed

Judging by the euphoric exaggeration and fanboyism on mainstream media this morning, today's Apple Watch (not iWatch, definitely not iWatch) unveiling promises to be "world-changing" for the 'wearables' industry (as well as numerous "first time ever..." comments). Of course, there are 'watches' on the market already, but as Reuters Jason Fields 'jokes', the Apple Watch, of course, does more. The face is high resolution and in color. It even has apps that allow you to do a few of the things you’d be able to do if only you could muster the strength to dig your hand into the front pocket of your jeans, or do a little digging in your handbag.

Timex... or time will tell?

 

BNN notes 5 Things To 'Watch' for...

HOW WILL THIS WORK?

You’ll need to have a smartphone on you in order for the Watch to connect to the Internet or to cellular networks: it doesn’t have its own wireless connection (unlike some devices that have been announced, like the LG Urbane, which runs on a WebOS system).

 

There seem to be three ways users can interact with the smart features of the Watch: it has a touchscreen for some functions, a scroll wheel/watch stem controller for navigation, and a companion app for your iPhone (no, there is no sign you can get an Android app for Watch). Through these controls users will be able to access and customize apps on the Watch. Expect to see extended demos of software made by Apple (iTunes, iMessage, etc.) and also third-party content from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and others.

 

There also appears to be a fourth interface strictly for consuming: the glance. Developers working with Apple have reported the company is urging any on-watch functions should take no more than 10 seconds. Notifications would obviously take less, but that focus on saving time (reported by Bloomberg among others) has another salutary effect: saving battery life.

 

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

This is the most critical aspect of the Watch, and Apple may remain vague about it. A watch that lasts all day is an expectation, not an option. (The latest Pebble smartwatch claims to last for a week on one charge.) In September, Apple suggested you’d recharge the Watch “at night.”

 

But battery power doesn’t just affect whether you get your retweet notification at 7 p.m., but also what kind of apps you get at all. Developers have realized that Apple’s rules for third-party apps restrict access to some of the key sensor tech; NFC (near-field communication that allows for mobile payments), heartbeat sensors and even the gyrometer (for motion-sensing) will all be locked down.

 

You won’t be able to wave your hand to activate something like a drone with your Watch, for example. And TechCrunch is reporting that notifications will cease when the Watch isn’t on your wrist. That will help extend battery life, but may eliminate some of the hoped-for “wow” features like gesture controls or games designed to measure your anxiety.

 

HOW MUCH IS IT?

The widely reported figure is that $349 (U.S.) will be the lowest price for a Watch. What we don’t know is what the average Watch will cost.

 

Nothing that Apple sells now has anywhere near the customization options that the Watch will have, from multiple colours, metals, sizes, bands, and who knows what other options (Bloomberg says Apple even has a fancy leather charging box). And there is cottage industry of guesses about the higher-end gold alloy Watches from tech figures like Marco Arment and John Gruber, who peg the luxury version price between $5,000 and $20,000.

 

We might even see retail boss Angela Ahrendts come up on stage to explain how the Apple store experience could be rebuilt to create a Watch boutique to help customers manage all these choices. What Apple doesn’t want are repeats of this kind of anti-Mac Genius rant/performance.

 

HOW MANY WILL THEY SELL?

Analysts are all over the map, but one recent guess from Strategy Analytics suggests it could sell 15 million Watches in 2015, translating into a 55 per cent global market share. That suggests we’ll see a lot of sales for the other smartwatch makers too, as there were only 4.8 million smartwatches sold in all of last year. “The Apple Watch is the catalyst to ignite the global smartwatch market,” wrote Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics.

 

If that sounds pretty lofty, don’t forget Apple just kicked AT&T off the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and its market cap is almost $740-billion. Consider this nugget of Watch prediction wisdom from Stratechery analyst Ben Thompson: “Apple is on the verge of leaving the narrowly-defined smartphone market behind entirely, instead making a play to be involved in every aspect of its consumers’ lives.”

 

WILL THERE BE “ONE MORE THING?”

Do not expect news on the much-fantasized Apple Car, or the fever dream that is an Apple TV. Don’t plan on hearing new details about Beats Music service and don’t expect any news on bigger Microsoft Surface-style “pro” iPads. At most, there could be a Macbook update, or some other cheering about a peripheral product. This is Apple Watch’s second debut, but it will still take centre stage because we’re much closer to its arrival in stores: Most expect it will ship in April.

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Live Feed (via Apple - note, only works on Apple products) - click image for link to feed

 

Alternative Live Feed (via CNET)

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Some thoughts on Apple Watch...

 

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Via Ransquawk, The following report provides a useful overview of some of Apple's biggest suppliers for iPhone parts, ahead of the well anticipated launch of the expected Apple Watch at the media event scheduled for 1700GMT/1200CDT March 9th 2015.

MAIN POINTS:

APPLE WATCH

As this event is expected to unveil the Co.’s watch product for the first time, the full list of suppliers for the Apple Watch is unknown as of yet. However, based on previous products, firms that could benefit from the launch include: Quanta Services (PWR), Micron (MU), NXP Semiconductors (NXP), Texas Instruments (TXN), Maxim (MMS) and Broadcom (BRCM). Furthermore, after last year’s media event, Goldman Sachs suggested the Apple Watch could include flexible OLED display supplied by Universal Display (OLED)

Conversely, firms that may be adversely affected by the announcement include: Sony (SNE), Qualcom (QCOM), Garmin (GRMN). Of note, luxury watch brands such as Rolex and Omega are not expected to be greatly impacted by the release.

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Sizes - Expectations are for 2 iWatch sizes and 3 styles.
  • Prices - Expected to start from USD 349 (Apple Watch Sport), with further price points of USD 350, USD 550 and USD 950.
  • Battery life – Apple is currently targeting 2.5 hours of ‘heavy’ use or 3.5 hours of ‘standard’ use. However, users will likely only be actively interacting with the device at short intervals throughout the day. As such, aims were for 3-4 days of standby or sleeping mode, but have now been lowered to 2-3 days. This could prove decisive in terms of customer appeal as iPhone models with short battery life have come under increased scrutiny in the past.
  • Features: Heart rate at a glance, iPhone companion app, music, improved interactivity features that most other smart watches.

Many technology firms have been exploring the increasingly popular world of wearable technology, and the iWatch has the potential to pack-in a lot of new features including the technology for a wellness and fitness tracker, wireless charging, flexible OLED screens, and NFC support for Apple’s potential mobile payments system, however this all remains speculation. One big sticking-point with investors could be the bill though, with suggestion that the price-tag will be in excess of USD 300, making it substantially more expensive than similar products on the market.

OTHER POTENTIAL PRODUCTS – Update to MacBook Air...

Could include:

  • Retina display
  • Faster CPU
  • Thinner bezel display
  • Pressure-sensitive touchpad

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The Onion's forecast on the Apple Watch features...

  • 13-megapixel camera enables users to take crystal-clear pictures of wrist
  • Allows wearers to start and stop the flow of time
  • Discreet, but not so discreet that anyone would mistake it for a regular watch
  • Comes in a variety of colors and styles to express your personal submission to the planet’s dominant tech company
  • Adjustable ticking volume
  • All the convenience of a traditional watch that needs to be charged every 12 hours
  • Built-in thinkpiece regarding the increased connectivity yet simultaneous isolation of the millennial generation
  • Small size and intricate circuitry able to drive twice as many Chinese workers to suicide as iPhone
  • Makes it easier for muggers to see whether or not you’re carrying an expensive electronic device
  • Another screen to throw into your current rotation of things you look at

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And finally...

"Hey bro, you got the time?" "Yeah, it's ... hang on. Just a sec. God fucking damnit. " pic.twitter.com/2R4MXIVIcY

— Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal)