MANILA, Philippines – As Apple gears up for their March 9 announcement slated for 10 am PDT (March 10, 1 am Manila time), speculators have suggested a number of things that would come with the Apple Watch in its second formal showing since September.
Whether it’s pricing and availability, applications that will work with the Apple Watch, or what kind of straps you can get with your new smartwatch, quite a bit of it is still unknown or being thought about.
Here’s a list of things to expect from Apple’s “Spring Forward” event, based on speculation from the industry.
What do we get, and for how much?
TechCrunch noted 3 different price ranges for the Apple Watch, starting at $349.
According to their report, there will be a Sport model “offering an anodized aluminum case, special strengthened glass Apple calls “Ion-X,” and shipping with plastic bands in a variety of bright color options designed for active use.” These are expected to be the most affordable of the three variants, expected to come in at $349 for the basics.
The flagship variant, plainly named the Apple Watch for now, will use polished stainless steel or “space black” stainless steel cases. They’re also expected to have either a link bracelet, leather loop, milanese loop, classic buckle leather strap, or “fluoroelastomer” plastic sport bands to hold the watch on your wrist. Sapphire crystal is expected to protect the screen rather than the Sport’s reinforced glass.
The Apple Watch Edition variant is expected to be the more expensive model of the Apple Watch. Coming in 6 sub-variants of its own, the Apple Watch Edition versions are reported to have 18-karat gold cases, meant to be twice as hard as gold and more resistant to scratching. Aside from using sapphire glass for the front, it should be noted that customization options – such as the strap and the buckle for the Edition variant, are more limited compared to the flagship. Apple is likely banking of the prestige factor to wow prospective buyers.
Expounding on features
One important part of the Apple event is the showcasing of the Apple Watch’s feature set. The Verge noted that third-party app developers have had around 4 months to play with the coding tools, so Apple may be showing off some new, helpful apps at its upcoming demonstration. There also may be some possible changes to the App Store to accommodate the release of the Apple, though Apple Watch apps will be running off of iPhone apps, so Apple may also choose to not tweak the store in that regard.
Gizmodo, while not expecting 100,000 apps to appear on the store, did expect at least a few thousand apps to make their way to the iTunes store at launch, ensuring the Apple Watch “won’t feel empty at launch by any means.”
Gizmodo also expected fitness tracking to be a notable component of the March 9 presentation, though it may not revolutionize the field since it only comes with an accelerometer gyroscope, and heart rate monitor. If they can make at least self-reporting of fitness information and updating onto fitness tracking apps easy to use on a small screen though, that wouldn’t be half bad.
Things should work
Aside from that, viewers later should also be a bit wary later during the event and take note of any scripted loops. In its write-up, Mashable noted that should Apple get into explaining some of the other features, such as Apple Pay or their special unlocking mechanisms for hotel rooms or cars, they should simply work.
“While we heard about unusual features such as sharing heartbeats last fall, the hands-on demos Apple gave us after the unveiling were essentially pre-scripted loops, as nothing really worked,” Mashable explained. “This time, the expectation is that everything will work on Monday.”
Aside from the Apple Watch, speculators suggest that the more than one announcement or product reveal is in the works. From iOS 8.3, a return of Beats Music to the stage, or a new iPad or Macbook Air, there’s plenty of potential other announcements to be excited for, though all of them are being kept up in the air till the actual reveal.
In the meantime, interested Apple fans will want to go to Apple’s Livestreaming page on their Macs or iOS devices to view the proceedings as it happens. – Rappler.com
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