Keep an I on Apple Watch

Watch the whole media event – the Apple Watch section starts about 52.30 minutes in

One other significant announcement, we think, is the lower Apple TV nprice now $69 over there and £59 here in the UK

 

March 9 2015 was  the day.

See all the Apple Watches starting at $349 through $549 to > $10k (Watch Sport, Watch and Watch Edition)

Having sprung forward Apple, at 10am PST (5pm GMT), will feature and launch their Apple Watch from the Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts in San Francisco. They have also again built an extra temporary demo area.

Apple Watch Press Release

Their online Apple store is already ofline but will fall be back once the presntation takes place

Tim Cook & Team will be in attendance and performing.

With the appropriate Apple equipment you can watch it live here Apple.com/live or on Apple TV.

Numerous live blogs will be taking place and the likes of Apple Insider, MacRumors and  & 9to5Mac will keep many informed.

We will return with our and some  of the other immediate reactions.

We’ll leave you with:

The Watch is coming

Keeping an I off Apple Watch

We think apart from the sort of spotting of some grey shoots of recovery in Apple revenue figures that possibly the most noteworthy disclosure in the results concerned a, arguably forward looking statement as follows in the *conference call.

Nancy Paxton -  Senior Director of Investor Relations

“We’ll be creating a new reporting category called other products. This will encompass everything we report in the accessories category today including Beats headphones and speakers, Apple TV and peripherals and accessories for iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod.

In addition, we will begin to include iPod sales in the other products category and we will also reflect sales of Apple Watch in this line item once it begins shipping in early calendar 2015.”

So is Apple Watch a product group as, possibly, indicated in their Store header or like Apple TV is it a sort of hobby?

We’ve had a feeble attempt at restating the latest quarters figures to see what it might look like. In practice we expect iTunes etc to be promoted. Going way back in time iPod was of course the first new product group after Mac starting in 2004 and likely being the largest revenue generator from 2005 through 2007 or 2008 when it was overtaken by the iPhone.

We guess that as with recent restatements only the last couple of years will be included in fiscal 2015 results.

The categorisation of the Watch as an Other product we regard as being defensive and to an extent Tim Cook’s reaction in the *conference call when directly questioned by Ben Reitzes on the topic really confirmed this.

Ben Reitzes – Barclays

“… Tim, I was wondering what we were to make out of your new segments with the Apple Watch being in the other category. We were just a little surprised to hear that because it seems like such a substantial new category and you could sell may be even tens of millions of unit.

So by putting it lumped in the other with iPods and a lot of other things, does that say something about your expectations for that product or do you think that you’ll just break it out after a little while?”

Tim Cook – CEO

“Probably it says nothing about our expectation for the product. We didn’t form those categories based on expectations. We looked at current revenue, today revenue, and decided that we would leave everything that wasn’t a Mac, an iPad, or an iPhone or a service in one kind of category.

In the future, we might decide something different, but for now, in Q1 we’re not shipping any iPhone or excuse me, Apple Watches and so it seems appropriate to start it that way.

And also to be also straight is I am not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch because of the — and giving a lot of detail on it because our competitors are looking for it and so aggregating it is helpful from that point of view as well.”

At the minute if it looks like, smells like, and is categorised as an accessory, (within Other products) then that’s what it is likely to be and remain, we think, and we are disappointed. But then you would expect us to be lobbying  for an iWatch product group wouldn’t you!

 

* Extracts from Seeking Alpha’s transcript

UK Makes Top Wearables

Intel are running their International “Make it Wearable”  competition and have whittled the finalists down to ten. They incidentally at this stage get $50,000 plus an intensive incubation process, including virtual Lean Startup education from UC Berkeley to assist with the project.. The ultimate 1st 2nd & 3rd projects receive $500,000, $200,000 and $100,000. The winners of this main Development Track (Build it) will be announced on November 3rd with a gala event on 11/11.

Of the twenty seven listed countries the finalists come from a superb seven as follows:

The three UK projects are:

  • blocksSnapable Platform / Modular Smartwatch
  • open bionicsRobotic Hand
  • vumbl Sports & Activity Smartnecklace

Here are some of their videos

We understand that Intel finalist videos are being prepared for all & will add these as they become available.

blocks

open bionics

vumbl

vumbl is a discrete device worn on the neck. Like a sixth sense, vumbl intuitively guides people to where they need to be, using touch. vumbl delivers considerable value beyond navigation, with the potential to become the wearable hub for the smartphone.

Intel video expected in next week or so & will then be added.

Incidentally there is an Estonian connection here as they are benefiting from an accelerator project (Build it) over there which is interesting.

The project finalist which is getting quite a bit of the publicity is the USA’s  Nixie which is a sort of wearable drone! Here’s their (Intel) video

 

We think anyone of our three would be a worthy winner #GoUK!

What’s on the Menu for the Original Apple Watch

Initially an apology. When we redrew the Apple Menu yesterday to cater for the Watch we sort of followed the chronology whereas we see that Apple have reordered their menu on the product front to be:

  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • Watch
  • iPad
  • iPod

Interesting discussion point for all avid Apple watchers!

Wheras the overall design / look, very much at a macro level, of the iPod, iPhone, & iPad products have not changed hugely from the original we think that the Apple Watch will be more akin to the dramatic changes in the Mac’s design history!

The Watch will become, we think, much thinner with a curved screen and a central digital crown. A single size for all we also think may occur in the future together with a vastly improved selection of bands.

Some think that the naming of the Watch without the “i” (which of course caused much disappointment here) is a move away from the technical connotation towards a more personal or fashion approach.

As mentioned the invited audience included representatives from the fashion world including Marie Claire but, whilst we may have missed it, we can’t see any coverage yet of the event nor any twitter comments  – likely they are concentrating on the NY Fashion Week which ends tomorrow!

The hands on videos we’ve looked at are we think very much of a techy nature (see below) and whilst exceptionally well produced the Jony Ive 10 minute version again we thought has a mainly technical & features approach.

Time will tell!

Watch Apple

Well it’s here the Apple Watch – no i!

They say:

“Apple Watch introduces a specially designed and engineered Digital Crown that provides an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate. The Digital Crown is Apple’s most revolutionary navigation tool since the iPod® Click Wheel and iPhone® Multi-Touch™. Apple Watch will enable you to communicate in new ways right from your wrist by sending and receiving messages, answering calls to your iPhone, and with Digital Touch, sending something as personal as your own heartbeat. Apple Watch also introduces comprehensive health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives. Apple Watch is available in three distinct collections—Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.”

Starts at $349 and availability in early 2015 in the US.

Here’s the video – mpressive!

99’s for Apple & Amazon

Click to enlarge

Today is Apple’s day for their “special event” with the anticipated announcement of the iPhone6 and (increasingly likely) the iWearable which may or may not be called the iWatch.

Rumours of course abound and the somewhat unlikely combination of U2 and the Mayo Clinic are amongst the latest. Also we hear that many glitterati from the fashonista sector are expected. We wonder if Burberry may feature at the behest of Angela Ahrendts, their ex CEO, who is now Apple’s  Senior VP of  Retail & Online Stores.

You can watch the event live, running Safari on iOS or Mac, or on your Apple TV and “… follow every moment.”

Numerous live bloggers will be in attendance and Apple watchers such as:

will guide you through it all with their informed commentary.

In accordance with tradition the Apple Store is now closed and you can read “We’ll be back” in 19 different languages. Hungarian is our favourite as they can say it in one word “Visszatérünk”

We shall wait then watch from 6pm BST/10am PDTand likely report back (briefly) later tonight after it’s all over (around 9-10pm BST we guess).

Amazon in an attempt to make their FirePhones move off the shelves have cut the US starter price to 99cents.

The firePhone has also been launched over here  and can be pre ordered from O2  starting at an even lower cost of £nil on a monthly £33 2 year contract with availability indicated as Tuesday September 30. As in the US you also get (until December 31) a free year of Prime membership which normally costs £79.

Announced for the UK last week was the Amazon Fire TV also at £79. Availability is Tuesday October 14.

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

Watch all the prepping for the iPhone6

Apple have now confirmed their 9/9 media event sending out a large number of invitations yesterday.

Click to enlarge

The venue is the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino which we reckon can accommodate over 2,500 which is a much larger capacity than has been catered for recently at such events. Incidentally this was the venue where Steve Jobs launched the original Macintosh back on 24 January 1984 at their Apple Shareholder Event (see the rather dated and partially redacted video below).

The Flint Center

There is quite a lot of prepping already going on at the location with a “structure” out the back which houses who knows what! Security is significant apparently. Picture from MacRumors.

"The Structure" as at August 20

To catch up with the possible features of the iPhone6 Macrumors has most of them!

Conjecture on the iWatch is also available

Other views exist on both the iPhone6 and iWatch front. We’rew not even 100% confident of the wearables name!

We’ll leave you with the 1984 video – if you go in about 39 minutes you’ll catch the 1984 famous ad and the Macintosh unveil from a bag. Vintage and a very well dressed Steve Jobs!

Ahead of the curve – Smart Samsung Gear S

They today announced a Gear with a sim which of course potentially divorces it from the smartphone.

The spec they give as:

  • Network  – 900/2100 or 850/1900 (3G), 900/1800 or 850/1900 (2G)
  • Display – 2.0” Super AMOLED (360 x 480)
  • AP – Dual core 1.0 GHz
  • OS – Tizen based wearable platform
  • Audio – Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
  • Features – Communications: – 2G, 3G Call, Bluetooth Call, Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Emails, QWERTY Keyboard
  • Health & Fitness – S Health, Nike+ Running
  • Information – Schedule, News, Navigation, Weather
  • Media – Music Player, Gallery
  • Others – S Voice, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant
  • Samsung Services – Samsung Gear Apps
  • Connectivity – WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS/Glonass, Bluetooth®: 4.1, USB: USB 2.0
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, UV, Barometer
  • Memory – RAM: 512MB, Storage: 4GB Internal Memory
  • Dimensions (mm) – 39.8 x 58.3 x 12.5T
  • Battery – 300mAh Li-ion, Typical Usage 2 days

The Samsung Gear S will be available in global markets in phases through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce websites and via carriers beginning October when it is also expected that pricing will be announced.

We wonder if this is a preemptive move in advance of an Apple wearable announcement in the last quarter.

Will you pass your DQ test?

Ofcom  in connection with the publication today of the eleventh edition of its Communications Market Report (CMR) has included both the results of its research into the Digital Quotient of our population as well as a somewhat shortened test so that you can quickly (3 minutes they claim) come up with your own level.

TAKE THE TEST

It consists of 18 questions with a maximum score of about 144 we reckon but to achieve that you will have to use a Smartwatch a 3D printer and glasses!

The overall average at 100 we reckon converts to a percentage of just under 70% and the “with it” 14-15 year olds just under 80%. Everybody passes with even the 75+’s scoring 55%.

We may return to the full UK report at a later stage to comment on some of its 429 pages and the consistently colourful charts

Report links:

Time(x) for a truly Standalone Smartwatch

Timex have announced today the ability to preorder, iu the USA, their impressive Ironman ONE GPS  + smartwatch. It’s available for just under $400 including a one year cellular network connection / data service from AT&T.

It features:

  • Email-based wireless messaging
  • Find me alert (external location notifications)
  • GPS location tracking
  • MP3 player (Bluetooth connection)
  • Tracking of  speed, distance, and position
  • Water resistant to 50 metres

But of course the main attribute is its standalone ability with no requirement to have a separate smartphone in tow!

Availability is reckoned to be at the end of the summer.

It’s a Timex Qualcomm venture and so far no indication of battery life which someone has guessed will be a couple of days – which if true would, we think, make it viable for not only the sports market but for more general use with a bit of rebranding! How about the SSTwatch (Standalone Smart Timex).

No mention of any UK availability or pricing but we hope to report back on this in due course!

We’ll leave you with their video.