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Live updates: Apple Watch event 2015

March 9, 2015
(Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Apple is hosting a big event in San Francisco today to show off what is widely expected to be the debut of the Apple Watch, its first major innovation since the iPad. Follow along with us, as our tech team brings you the latest from the event.

Highlights: HBO Now is an Apple TV exclusive | Apple’s new 2-lb. MacBook | Apple Watch features

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Here’s the breakdown:

Watch Sport: $349 for the smaller screen; the larger screen will be $399.

The Apple Watch (mid-tier): $549 to $1049 for the smaller screen, while the larger screen will be $599 to $1099. The price depends on the type of band.

The Watch Edition (in 18-k gold): $10,000 in select stores only. Wowsers.

  • Sarah Halzack
  • ·

Cook said the Apple Watch is to be sold at “select retail stores,” leaving it unclear where shoppers will be able to buy the device when it goes on sale April 24th outside of Apple’s own fleet of stores.

There has been speculation that perhaps big-box retailers such as Best Buy are not the right environment to sell this product–especially the high-end version of it, which costs $10,000.

Perhaps a better environment to sell such a product would be an upscale retailer such as Nordstrom, Barney’s New York or Bergdorf Goodman.  Reuters has reported that Nordstrom “has engaged in discussions” with Apple.  In the same report, Reuters said that Saks 5th Avenue and Bloomingdale’s said they had no immediate plans to carry the watch.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

No concerts of free albums this time. Heading to the hands-on area now. Thanks for following along, everyone!

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

He’s going over everything we heard about today, the Macs, the research framework and — of course — the Watch.

“All of our energy is on making the best products in the world that can power people, that enrich their lives,” Cook says.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Now we’re getting to breaking news:

The mid-tier watch will be $549 to $1049, while the larger edition will be $599 to $1099.

The “Edition” will be $10,000, and will be in limited quantities and available only in select stores.

Pre-orders start on April 10.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Critics of Steve Jobs’ infamous “reality distortion field” may see some parallels here with Tim Cook’s claim that the Apple Watch can last for 18 hours without a recharge.

Until we actually get to test this under real-world conditions, we won’t know whether Cook’s claims are accurate. He could pluck virtually any number out of the air and claim that “your mileage may vary” — and he wouldn’t be wrong.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

$349 for the 38 mm version, $399 for the 42mm version.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Cook is back on stage, talking about the way you get all your apps on your watch — through your iPhone.

There will be a special section of the App Store just for watch apps, but you’ll have to download and curate apps through your phone.

He also said that the watch has “All-Day Battery Life,” which Cook defines as 18 hours. It charges with a magnetic charger.

Having to charge every day might be annoying– another thing to have to plug in every night.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

Lynch has taken a call from his dog groomer, called Uber, promised you can use your Watch as a hotel room key, and showed off a feature that lets you scan your watch in the security line at the airport. As one may have expected, this is all about explaining ways the Watch will make your life easier.

Apple’s clearly put a lot of work into building up partnerships here. Lynch has dropped a ton of names —  SPG, Shazam, ESPN, Alarm.com — presumably to make sure consumers know this product has plenty of features at launch.

Via live stream, Lynch even opened his garage door from the stage in real-time for his daughter.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

I’m on the record as being a touchscreen skeptic on smartwatches generally. But in the touchscreen, Apple benefits tremendously from the fact that you can customize the watch face. If you don’t like a traditional analog clock? Switch it to another view. Or add elements that give you more information.

Apple’s clearly hoping that this flexibility will encourage adoption. Sticking with a choice of one or two watch faces runs the risk of deterring folks who might be on the fence.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

Okay, so we’re not all marathoners and models. So Cook is now moving into the more difficult part of the presentation: the sell to the average consumer.

He starts by pointing out that you can put all kinds of apps on the Watch, including those from ESPN and Facebook to provide convenient news and social updates.

Kevin Lynch, VP of technology for Apple, is on stage to walk us through the daily use features. Nothing ground-breaking yet: checking stocks, Twitter trends and flight info. It will also remind you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long. (Which is about how I feel right now.)

You can also access Siri by taping the “crown” or the knob on the side of the phone — as per usual she can check weather, set up reminders, etc. You can also get your messaging apps hooked up to watch – Lynch demonstrated WeChat on stage, showing again the Apple focus on the Chinese market.

And, of course, you can also use the Watch with Apple Pay.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Hayley noted earlier that shares of major watchmakers were down before the Apple event. Now that trend is deepening — Swatch, Movado and Fossil are all still trending downward:

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 14.06.44

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

Cook also touted some features we already knew about, such as the ability to share doodles, taps and your heartbeat with your friends. (Gimmicky? Sure. But Cook is pretty excited.)

It’s also a fitness device, of course, with tools that let you know your step count, how long you’ve been sitting, standing and moving and — of course — your heartbeat. Apple tapped health advocate and model Christy Turlington Burns to star in a video and appear on stage to show off the features of the watch. She’s the first person to run a half-marathon using an Apple Watch.

She said she used it to measure her pace and monitor her health signs while running a race at Mt. Kilimanjaro.

She also makes a case for the Apple Watch as fashion, saying that the band she’s wearing on stage is her “fashion” band.

As a health advocate and a model, she’s actually a pretty smart pick for Apple to talk about the device. She’ll also do a blog for Apple about her next race.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

Tim Cook is back to talk about the Apple Watch, which he calls Apple’s most personal device yet.

“It’s not just with you, it’s on you,” he says.

Cook’s showing off a number of different faces, including a Mickey Mouse face for fun. He also notes that you can pin certain apps to the corners of the watch, such as a stopwatch or your next appointment. You can also quickly access apps by swiping up from the bottom of the face.

“You can also check your heart rate,” Cook said, standing in front of a measurement that says 60 bpm. “This is clearly not mine at this point in time,” he added with a grin.

You can also grab calls on your watch.

“I’ve been wanting to do that since I was 5 years old!” Cook said.

He’s clearly just getting started.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.45.28

As part of its new laptop, Apple is collapsing many of the ports you typically get with a computer into one. Soon, connectors for power, external displays, USB drives and other peripherals that need hooking up to your Mac will share a single shape.

This raises immediate questions about how you have your Mac hooked up to power at the same time that you want to, say, hook it up to a monitor or transfer files to an external drive. But more broadly, the USB Type-C connector — which Apple says is going to become standard across the computing industry — could cut down on all the separate components that are necessary today to serve different types of devices.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

One port to rule them all.

The USB-C port on the new MacBook acts not only as its power cord, but also functions as the USB port, HDMI port, Lightning port, and VGA port.

It’s also reversible, so you won’t ever have to fumble with the cord to make sure it’s going in the right way.  Of course, having only one port can also be pretty inconvenient. If you have multiple peripherals, I’m not totally sure what you’re supposed to do. I also see a boon for adapter makers.

The new laptop will ship on April 10 for $1299. And, a color update: it comes in silver, space gray and gold.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Basically, Apple is getting to have HBO on an exclusive basis primarily for the Game of Thrones season premiere, and that’s about it. BuzzFeed reports:

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Dear All Those People Who Keep Asking Me When They Should Get A New MacBook,

Now might be a good time, if you want a Mac. This new notebook has a 12-inch retina display, is thinner than the MacBook Air and has a redesigned keyboard, a “Force” touch pad that is supposed to feel the same no matter where you press on the touchpad.

Still no price.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama)

Tim Cook is back, saying he’ll talk about “…the Mac.” With a grin. He knows we aren’t here necessarily for Mac news, but they’re going to give it to us anyway.

And this is a very thin MacBook.

“I can’t even feel it!” says Cook from the stage, holding the new MacBook. It does look ridiculous thin, and is just 13.1 mm thin. It’s 24 percent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air.

It comes in gold, too, for when you really want to bling.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Looks like the arrangement — not sure how long it’ll last — is angering people who aren’t already hooked into the Apple ecosystem.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.28.54

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.29.43

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