APPLE EVENT LIVE: The watch, a gold MacBook, HBO on iPhone

Apple Watch unveiled: lots of features, functions, price tags. So... Do you want it?

  • Mar. 9, 2015 7:00 a.m.
Apple Vice President of Operations

Apple Vice President of Operations

By By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – Make calls, read email, control music, manage Instagram photos, keep up with your workout, pay for groceries, open your hotel room door. CEO Tim Cook says you can do it all from your wrist with Apple Watch — for 18 hours a day. That’s how long the battery will last on an average day.

Pre-orders start April 10. The device costs $349 for a base model, while a luxury gold version will go for $10,000. Industry watchers are eager to see if Apple’s version will be the tipping point for the sluggish smartwatch market. There was similar skepticism when Apple released the iPad in 2010, yet the company has successfully sold millions and its popularity has shaken up the PC market.

The stakes are high for a company that just dislodged AT&T as one of the 30 stocks comprising the venerable Dow Jones industrial average. The watch is the first brand-new device Apple has launched without Steve Jobs.

Apple is entering a market in which numerous tech companies are already selling smartwatches, from the Samsung Gear and Motorola’s Moto 360 to the Pebble Steel and other models made by smaller startups. Many run on Android Wear, the software platform from Google. They range in price from $100 to $500 or more, but most don’t have as many features as the Apple Watch, and they have not been big hits with consumers.

Cook directed Apple’s big event Monday in San Francisco, unveiling a shiny, skinny and silent MacBook weighing in at just two pounds that the company says is the world’s most energy-efficient laptop. Apple also has unveiled a new deal between Apple TV and HBO, touted growth in iPhone sales and Apple Pay adoption, and announced a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centres develop apps for patients.

It cut the price of Apple TV by $30 to $69 and is partnering with HBO to offer its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Go, on Apple devices in time for the “Game of Thrones” premiere April 12. It will cost $14.99 monthly. Cook said 2,500 banks are now signed up with Apple Pay, which is available in 700,000 retail locations nationwide.

Below is a live blog of the event. All times PDT.

11:35 a.m.

The event ends as Cook thanks employees who worked on Apple Watch. Dozens stand in the audience. Cook says thousands more were involved at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

11:33 a.m.

Pre-orders will begin April 10. That’s also when people will be to check them out in retail stores.

The watch will start selling on April 24 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom.

11:30 a.m.

How much will these cost?

The entry-level aluminum model, called Sport, will be aimed at fitness enthusiasts. It will cost $349 for the smaller, 38-millimeter model

and $399 for the larger, 42-millimeter model. There will be choices of colours and bands.

The stainless steel edition will start at $549 and go up to $1,049 for the smaller model, depending on the selection of watch band. The

larger model will range from $599 to $1,099.

The Apple Watch Edition — the luxury model with 18-karat gold — will be available in limited quantities at select retail stores, for a

price of $10,000.

11:25 a.m.

BATTERY LIFE: Apple says the watch will have 18 hours of battery life across a range of activity — which Cook describes as “all day.”

That’s so if you factor in charging it while you sleep, but you wouldn’t be able to use sleep-tracking apps overnight.

The watch is charged with a magnetic charger that clicks into place when it’s near the back of the watch.

Apple also is releasing an update to its iOS software for iPhones on Monday that includes an Apple Watch app. You won’t be able to use it yet, but you can see some of the customization options and other features to come.

11:20 a.m.

More functionality: You can get reservation information for your Starwood hotel room, and unlock the room door right from the notification on the watch — bypassing the front desk. Using a service from Alarm.com, you can also open your garage door remotely.

Apple says developers have been working on thousands of apps since the company released tools in November.

11:15 a.m.

Technology VP Kevin Lynch demonstrates being able to pay for groceries and other items via Apple Pay integrated into the watch.

Lynch also demonstrates making and receiving calls, getting a boarding pass notification and calling Uber. Lynch presses the watch’s crown to get to the home screen, chooses the Uber app and “calls” for a car.

He also shows off how to use the digital touch option to draw a flower picture for his wife as a message.

11:05 a.m.

Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns appears on stage to banter with Cook. Says she will try to beat four hours in the upcoming London Marathon.

“Apple Watch is going to help me get there,” she vows.

11 a.m.

Apple tapped supermodel Christy Turlington Burns to try out the Apple Watch. Apple shows video of her running a half marathon wearing the watch.

Fitness features include reminders to start moving when you’ve been sitting too long. A new Workout app will offer weekly summaries and goal suggestions for the upcoming week. Cook describes it as “having a coach on your wrist.”

10:55 a.m.

Cook unveils what everyone’s been waiting for today — the watch. Begins by talking about the watch’s time capabilities, including choices of finish and watch faces. And a series of features available called “glances.”

The watch will notify a wearer with a “tap” when a new email has arrived, for instance. You can use the watch for phone calls — the watch is connected to your iPhone using Bluetooth. “I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old. The day is finally here,” Cook declares.

10:50 a.m.

The starting price of the new MacBook laptop is $1,299 and comes with 256 gigabytes of storage. For $1,599, you get a faster processor and twice the storage. The MacBook will start shipping April 10.

Apple also refreshed its current lineup of MacBook Air and Pro products.

10:45 a.m.

Cook says Apple took what it learned from designing iPhones and iPads and “challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook.” Apple says the keyboard is more responsive, and the screen uses 30 per cent less energy to offer the same brightness.

Apple is dropping many of the connection ports, such as USB, in favour of wireless technology. But when something needs to be connected, Apple is offering a single port that can be used for power charging, display output and accessories. It uses an emerging technology called USB-C.

Apple has been known to drop older technologies as new products come along. The MacBook Air got rid of a DVD drive long before others did, for instance.

10:40 a.m.

Tim Cook unveils new MacBook, the thinnest and lightest version of its laptop in silver, space grey and gold finishes. Just 2 pounds and 24 per cent skinnier than the MacBook Air. (Apple is dropping Air from the name and is calling this simply the MacBook.) Keys are bigger and backlit with LEDs; screen has 12-inch Retina display, currently available only in the higher-end, heavier MacBook Pro line. Force Touch trackpad allows for clicks, fast-forwarding, and more depending on how hard you press.

Also — it’s silent. No fan.

10:25 a.m.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice-president of operations, addresses the role of Apple products in medical research. The company is creating a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centres develop apps for iPhone users to participate in studies. Apple says it’s working with leading researchers to develop apps for studies on diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other ailments. The Parkinson’s app, for instance, will monitor patients as they walk 20 steps to detect the progression of the diseases, which affects motor systems.

Apple says it won’t see any of the data to ensure privacy. ResearchKit, which will be open source, will be available next month. The first five apps are available today.

10:15 a.m.

Cook says its Apple Pay mobile-payment service has expanded to 2,500 banks since launching in October with six credit-card issuing banks in the U.S.. The number of merchants accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000 across the U.S. That’s still a small fraction of all the retail outlets out there.

10:12 a.m.

Cook announces a price cut for Apple TV to $69, from $99. He says 25 million units have been sold so far.

The availability of HBO as a stand-alone service comes as more people turn to the Internet to watch television. HBO previously was available on Apple devices, but only with a cable or satellite subscription.

10:10 a.m.

Cook shows a trailer from the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones.”

10:05 a.m.

Cook walks on stage to talk about Apple’s retail stores and offer an update on Apple TV. He’s joined by HBO CEO Richard Plepler to announce that Apple will be the exclusive partner of HBO’s upcoming stand-alone subscription service, HBO Now.

There will be a new HBO Now channel on Apple TV. It will be possible to get it on iPhones and iPads, too. The service will cost $14.99 a month and will be available in early April — in time for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.”

10 a.m.

The event begins with a video of an Apple store in West Lake, China. Customers holding Apple products cheer as employees count down to the opening of the store in January.

9:55 a.m.

Journalists, industry analysts and Apple guests fill the auditorium of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for the start of the event.

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read