Watch out, Apple’s about: what to expect from Apple’s March 9th event

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Do you feel it? The excitement fizzing in the air? A vague tingling in your wrist? An Apple event is coming this evening and it’s about time.

But what delicate pearls of wisdom will Tim Cook and his team hand down this evening? Here’s what we’re hoping to find out…

When and where we can get an Apple Watch

Apple Watch TrioApple may have clued us in to the existence of the Apple Watch last year, but it’s kept the particulars quiet.

We want to know when it’s going to go on sale – our best guess based on iPhone and iPad launches is that pre-orders will open shortly after the event, with the watch going on sale on a Friday at a later date.

Rumours peg April as the on-sale month, although we hope it’ll be more like later this month. Then South Africa can have it in April.

How much the Watch will cost

But before we go placing our pre-orders, we want to know how much of a dent the Watch will make in our bank accounts. We already know that pricing will start at $349 (R4,250) but that’s likely to be for the basic Sport option, which rocks colourful rubber straps and a lightweight aluminium casing. It’s basically the iPhone 5C of the watch world.

So what sort of outlay are we looking at for the stainless steel Watch? The smart money is on “a big one”. There’s speculation that the top end model could set you back $1000 (R12,050).

How much the gold Edition Watch will cost

Apple WatchNot because we necessarily want to buy it, but because we want to gawp at the number of zeroes on the end of its price tag. Some internet chatter pegs the 18-karat gold Apple Watch at somewhere in the pricing stratosphere, while others suspect a more palatable price of around $5000 (R60,300). Either way: too much for cash-strapped tech journos such as us.

What apps will be on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch SDK has been out with devs since Apple announced the Watch in September and we know that Apple has been working with some specially selected app partners on the software that will actually make the watch smart.

In true Apple fashion, we’ll be expecting Cook and co to show off their favourites on the night, alongside Apple’s own homemade apps. If we had to guess, we’d say we’ll be seeing some in-depth detail on something productive, something social, something fitness-related and something like a game.

A new Retina MacBook?

macbook airWe’re sure the Watch will be the main focus of Apple’s event, but enough about that. We’re hoping for a few other treats along the way, not least the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air that’s been rumoured for some time now.

The fact that fresh word of this unannounced laptop popped up just this week leads us to suspect that it could make an appearance on Monday. If that’s the case, we’re expecting Apple to clue us in on pricing at the event before the laptop goes on sale at some point next week.

A Watch-friendly update to iOS 8

We’d be extremely surprised if Apple introduced iOS 9 next week, but iOS 8.2 is not out of the realms of possibility. It won’t be a revolution in phone software but will provide the necessary smarts to play nice with the Apple Watch. Other than that, it’s probably only going to bring bug fixes and minor updates to the iOS party.

And one more thing…

Is it too much to hope that Apple might drop its new music streaming service today? Possibly, if you believe the latest rumours which claim that Apple’s having trouble bringing its Spotify rival to life. But you never know. We shall see.

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