Spring cleaning for Apple
March 9, 2015
On March 9th, 2015, Apple announced two new products at their Spring Forward event. One is the long-awaited Apple Watch, which is set to release on April 24th. The other unexpected announcement was one for a new 12-inch Macbook. As with many devices, Apple has not assigned a name to their new laptop, calling it instead the “new Macbook”.
A long-awaited device, the Apple Watch is Apple’s first venture into a new product category since the death of Steve Jobs. The smartwatch will be available in 3 metals: aluminum, stainless steel, and gold. Pricing for the aluminum is set at $450, with the stainless steel at $800. The 42mm versions are also available for an additional $50, a small upgrade from the 38mm. The gold version, titled the Apple Watch Edition, starts at a whopping $10 000.
The watch will only be compatible with the iPhone 5 and newer, making the device an accessory to the iPhone rather than a standalone device. Sales of the watch will suffer as a result, but overall, Apple will likely see an increase in revenue as some people will upgrade in order to get an Apple watch. Even with the missing sales due to incompatibility, the Apple watch will probably turn out to be the most popular smartwatch yet. This is due to the large number of iPhone users, as well as the Apple fans who consistently purchase every Apple product.
The other product announcement by Apple at the event on March 9th was the new Macbook. Bearing only the moniker “the new Macbook” so far, with it Apple has introduced some radical changes to the world of personal computers. Firstly, the upcoming laptop will only have two ports: a headphone jack and a USB Type-C connector. The Cupertino-based tech firm has stated that the intent of the laptop is for the primary means of communication to be wireless. However, a splitter will be sold for those without a full array of wireless devices. The other major changes from the tried-and-true Macbook formula are the availability of a gold-coloured device, as well as the removal of the glowing Apple logo in favour of a shiny, black one. Although they are purely aesthetic changes, they are departures from the typical design of Macbooks, and represent the willingness of Apple to try new ideas.
Outside of aesthetic and technological changes, the new Macbook is essentially a Macbook Air. Weighing only two pounds, the 12-inch laptop is very similar to the well-loved Air. Pricing in Canada is unannounced as of yet, however the laptop will likely be priced between $1299 and $1399, as suggested by the US pricing. Like all new Macbook Air laptops, it will likely see widespread success, especially considering the colour options.
A partnership between Apple and HBO was also announced, with the latter launching a subscription based streaming service called HBO Now, available at $14.99 monthly to any Apple device owner. Content has yet to be announced, and the service may prove to be unsuccessful due to the steep price for one channel. Despite this, it may find a market with fans of HBO’s broadcasts.
Bohn, Dieter. “Hands-on with the New 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display.” The Verge. The Verge, 09 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. <http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/8173685/macbook-retina-display-usb-type-c-hands-on-video>.
Newton, Casey. “Apple Made a True Fashion Statement Today, but It Wasn’t the Apple Watch.” The Verge. The Verge, 09 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/8179245/apple-watch-event-fashion-luxury-macbook-design>.
Robertson, Adi, Josh Dzieza, and Lizzie Plaugic. “The 9 Biggest Things from the Apple Watch and MacBook Announcement.” The Verge. The Verge, 09 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. <http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/8176159/apple-watch-macbook-event-news-specs-features>.
Stein, Scott, and David Carnoy. “Apple Watch Release Date, News, Price and Specs – CNET.” CNET. CNET, 09 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. <http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-watch/>.