As usual, Tim Cook took the stage and anounced some sales figures and a new store opening. The new store is located in China. The Apple TV has a new $69 price point, which is down from its $99 price. Along with the price drop of the Apple TV came the announcement of HBO Now, the streaming services that gives you access to HBO’s entire catalog of shows. It’ll be coming in April for $14.99 per month. To end that portion of the keynote, the audience got an exclusive sneak peak of the upcoming Game of Thrones season.
Next, Research Kit was introduced. While developing the Watch Apple realized that the information the watch provided was really helpful for a variety of health research topics. Parkinson’s was on of the diseases highlight. Apps are currently in development to test for Parkinson’s and send more accurate data to physicians. Apple partnered with several universities to collect various data points and develop the apps for testing for illnesses. All these tests can be done from anywhere as long as the person has a phone available. Research Kit will be open source to make the technology available to everyone who would like to use it.
Next Tim Cook introduced the new Macbook. It’s a 12 inch model with a Retina Display. What makes this Macbook so special? Well it was designed from the ground up. The three most important things to know about the new Macbook is that the trackpad and keyboard are reinvented, it has a Retina display, and it’s even smaller than the Macbook Air 11 inch model. The keyboard uses what Apple is calling the butterfly mechanism. This is supposed to improve the typing experience by making it more level and accurate. The trackpad is upgraded to have more sensors, and haptic feedback similar to the Watch. Apple also shrunk the logic board down about 67% to allow for more batteries to be placed inside. In the Apple like fashion these are no ordinary batteries. They’er custom slate like sheets of batter designed to take full advantage of the available space in the Macbook. So how much power are you getting from all those batteries? Apple promises all day battery life with 9 hours of internet browsing, and 10 hours for iTunes movie playback. Shrinking down the logic board was possible because of the new fanless design. There are no moving parts in this Macbook so it’s going to be more quiet than a church mouse. There is a ton of new wireless technology on board and there is only on port. A USB Type C port will be used for charging, display out, and pretty much everything else. Yep that just happened.
Finally we get to the bread and butter of the event. The device you actually read the recap for the Watch. For those of you who don’t know, it’s pronounced “Apple Watch”. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s get to the important stuff. First of all pricing. I’m not going make you wait 2 hours like Apple did to show you the pricing of something you probably can’t afford. The starting point is $349 and it goes all the way up to $17,000. Yikes. $349 gets you a 38mm Watch Sport. You’ll be able to get the 42mm Sport for $399. The stainless steel collection which is simple called the Watch will start at $549 for the 38mm and $599 for the 42mm. The Watch Edition is top of the line luxury model. It starts at $10,000 and goes up to $17,000. Double Yikes. You’ll be getting 18 hours of battery, which should get you through the day. Apple has some detailed specs and scenarios on their website so be sure and check it out if your interested. As far the bands go, you’ll be able to mix and max them. The prices of the band vary depending on the material they’re made up. So for instance if you wanted to get an Watch Sport with the Leather Loop, it would cost you $498 ($349 for the watch and $149 for the band). The sport watches do include 2 sports bands for the $349. Apple didn’t really tell us anything new in terms of software. If you’d like to see what all the Watch can do, there is a keynote from September that introduces it, and the Spring Forward keynote also has a good deal of information for newcomers. Preorders will start on April 10th, and the watch officially goes on sale April 24th. You’ll be able to try a watch n the Apple Store starting on April 10th.