Today Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the first new product segment for Apple since he came CEO. The new Apple wearable is simply called the Apple Watch. Cook teased the Watch as being highly customizable and including an “intimate way to connect and communicate.” It is a comprehensive fitness and health device, that includes multiple sensors for tracking your health and allows installation of apps to further customize your experience. The Apple Watch will not be available until early 2015, but will include 2 different sizes and 3 different collections. The starting price for the standard Apple Watch will be $349.
Cook noted in his presentation that Apple was faced with the challenge of creating a user interface that fit the form factor of a watch. He stated that for every new breakthrough device created, Apple has needed to create a new intuitive interface. Rather than trying to shrink the iPhone interface down to the size of a watch face, Apple created a digital crown for the Apple Watch to help provide a simple and elegant navigation method for accessing information. Not only does this make it easy to interact with data on screen, it allows you to do so without needing to block the screen with your fingers. It is designed to be used for all your activities all day.
The actual watch is a rectangle with several different finishes and multiple bands with different finishes and colors available. The bands are easily removed and interchangeable. It has a touchscreen in addition to the digital crown. Your daily activities are recorded through the Apple Watch and fitness goals are provided for you. Apps will be available, and you can dictate messages without taking your phone out of your pocket or purse. Many different watch faces come standard, but you are able to personalize how they appear and the information available. Charging is done through an Apple proprietary MagSafe wireless inductive charger.
The Apple Watch will initially consist of 3 watch lines to meet the specific needs of different types of people. The functionality will remain the same, but the finishes will vary. The watch lines include Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport Edition, and Apple Watch Edition. The Apple Watch will work with an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, or iPhone 6
More to come……
In just a few hours Apple will announce this year’s iteration of the iPhone. Whether it will be iPhone 6, just the New iPhone, or some other name, it is still not known, but it is looking very likely we will see a 5.5 inch and 4.7 inch screen model for the first time. It is also expected that we will at least see a preview of Apple’s new wearable device, the predicted iWatch, even though it probably won’t go on sale until next year. Beyond that, I would not be surprised to see new iPods and maybe even the next generation of the iPad. Unfortunately, new Macs are not expected at this event, but could possibly come next month.
Perhaps more important than the new devices will be the release of iOS 8. Although I have been running a beta of iOS 8 for some time, the true power of this update will not be seen until 3rd parties begin to release iOS 8 apps. iOS 8 introduces new features like app extensions that will allow app creators to offer exciting new opportunities to enhance other apps on your iPhone or iPad. So far Apple has talked about the ability to use image editing when viewing photos, and password manager apps that will be able to interact with other apps to offer more security, but I’m more excited about apps that will dream up unique new ways to interact with one another and enhance your experience. The way Apple has introduced the ability to customize your experience with new keyboards and app extensions is probably the most exciting change in the operating system since the app store was introduced.
I will update the site with the new announcements later today and with my initial thoughts, but for any Apple fanboy, this afternoon should be a very exciting time. Luckily the event will be steamed live from Apple at 1:00 pm EST, so you can follow along by visiting http://www.apple.com/live/.
UPDATE (September 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm): Please see the iPlugDelaware Coverage of today’s Apple Announcements: Apple Announces iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus; Apple Announces Apple Pay; Apple Announces Apple Watch.
Last week, Apple sent out invitations to members of the press for a special event scheduled for September 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm eastern standard time. As usual, Apple was cryptic in the invitation, and simply stated the date, and ‘Wish we could say more.” It is expected that Apple will reveal new versions of the iPhone at next week’s event, and also unveil the final version of iOS 8 that has been in beta testing over the summer. Since the invitation was sent, there has been speculation that Apple may also unveil a wearable device (iWatch?) and a new mobile wallet system (with American Express, Mastercard and Visa all linked as partners).
Based on parts released in the wild, it is now expected that Apple will at least announce a 4.7″ and 5.5″ version of the iPhone. It is not known what these devices will be called, especially since they are both expected to carry high-end components (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6xl?). If the rumors hold true, it will be the first time that Apple releases two flagship models at the same time (last year’s introduction of the 5c at the same time as the 5s, was based on the prior generation iPhone 5 components).
No matter what is being introduced, the event is going to be bigger than most recent Apple announcements. It will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, which notably has a much larger capacity than the normal venues used by Apple. In addition to the larger auditorium, Apple is also constructing a large structure adjacent to the Flint Center that spans near three stories. The Flint Center is also where Steve Jobs initially announced the original Mac 30 years ago.
Although none of us at iPlug Delaware were considered important enough to Apple to be sent invitations to the event, we will definitely update the site with new information as it is announced. If the past is any predictor for the future, it is likely that any newly announced iPhones could be available for purchase as soon as 10 days after the event. Stay tuned….
Update (September 9, 2014): Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Announced; Apple Pay Announced; Apple Watch Announced. More coverage to come.