Apple's March 9 event: Key highlights
Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about Apple's retail stores and offered an update on Apple TV. He was 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. Here are key highlights of Apple's March 9 event.
1. 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 and will be available in early April - in time for the season premiere of "Game of Thrones."
2. 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.
3. Cook announces a price cut for Apple TV to $69, from $99. He says 25 million units have been sold so far.
4. 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 US.
5. The number of merchants accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000 across the US. That's still a small fraction of all the retail outlets out there.
6. Apple unveils the New MacBook - the thinnest and lightest Mac ever made. The 12-inch new Apple MacBook comes with Retina display (2304x1440), 13.1 mm thin, weighs 2 pounds. Apple introduces terraced, contoured battery cells in the new 12-inch MacBook.
7. The New MacBook is the first fanless MacBook. Apple calls the new MacBook the word's most energy-efficient notebook.
8. The New MacBook will be available in three metal finishes - silver, space gray and gold. It will be available starting April 10 at $1299 onwards.
9. The new MacBook just weighs 2 pounds and is 24 per cent skinnier than the MacBook Air. Keys are bigger and backlit with LEDs. Force Touch trackpad allows for clicks, fast-forwarding, and more depending on how hard you press.
10. Cook has unveiled what everyone's been waiting for today - the Watch. He 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.
11. Fitness features in the Apple Watch 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."
12. 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 customisation options and other features to come.
13. The Apple Watch is charged with a magnetic charger that clicks into place when it's near the back of the watch.
14. Apple says the watch will have 18 hours of battery life across a range of activity - which Cook describes as "all day."
15. Apple Watch will be available in three collections - Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.
16. Apple Watch is available for pre-order starting April 10.
17. The Apple Watch will start shipping on April 24 in 9 countries (not India).
18. 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 colors 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. Thelarger 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.
19.Pre-orders for the Apple Watch 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 US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom.