Will Apple hit a Valentine’s Day 2015 target for the Apple Watch’s release?

 

Screenshot 2014-09-24 10.42.08

You may remember Apple CEO Tim Cook teasing major new product categories for Apple to be released in 2014. Technically, that will happen with Apple Pay next month, Apple’s first foray into the mobile payments category, but it is far more likely that Cook had been focusing his teases on the Apple Watch. Earlier this month, Apple debuted the fashion and fitness-oriented smart watch to the same crowd that saw the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While the Watch was demonstrated, it is obviously not a finished product: it’s not shipping until “early 2015,” according to Apple.

How early in 2015? Nobody knows for sure, but a new profile from The Information says “that Apple would be lucky to ship it by Valentine’s Day.” At 9to5, we’ve been hearing similar whispers. Valentine’s Day is in February, and this could be a great target for Apple to try to hit for the Watch’s launch. That Hallmark Holiday isn’t as strong as a shopping season as the December holidays, but it is still a time that many people seek out expensive or fashionable gifts. So why not the Apple Watch Edition, too? Apple has done product launches around that timeframe before, releasing new iOS device storage capacities and pink-colored models on multiple occasions.

Valentine’s Day aside, the bigger picture here is that many signs indicate Apple missed its own 2014 launch target. As The Information says:

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Report says Apple’s spaceship campus is $2B over budget

Spaceship-gallery-campus-2

We already knew there would be delays for Apple’s 2.8-million square foot Campus 2 following reports in November. Apple originally planned to move around 12,000 employees into the currently under construction spaceship-like campus by 2015, but in November warned completion of construction would likely be delayed until mid-2016. Today we get some more insider info on the project in a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, claiming the project is now over budget and possibly delayed even further:

In a story titled “Apple’s Campus 2 shapes up as an investor relations nightmare,” citing sources close to the project, Bloomberg claimed Apple’s grandiose plans for the building have resulted in the budget nearly doubling to $5 billion:

Since 2011, the budget for Apple’s Campus 2 has ballooned from less than $3 billion to nearly $5 billion, according to five people close to the project who were not authorized to speak on the record. If their consensus estimate is accurate, Apple’s expansion would eclipse the $3.9 billion being spent on the new World Trade Center complex in New York, and the new office space would run more than $1,500 per square foot—three times the cost of many top-of-the-line downtown corporate towers.

Apple has yet to actually break ground on the site, but Bloomberg’s sources said Apple has plans to start demolition of 26 buildings that are currently on the land.  According to the report, the delays are due to extra time spent attempting to cut around $1 billion from the budget. Apple has also yet to complete deals with contractors: Read more

Apple event will highlight education, will offer special discounts to education including iPad mini 10-packs

Rumor has it Apple’s media event tomorrow will have a strong education focus, something that seems even more likely with the recent iBooks 3.0 leaks. Of course, the fact that Apple is about to unveil its lowest priced iPad has also lead to talk that students and education might be the target audience during the iPad mini’s unveiling. TNW reported first that Apple’s event would focus on educational content—specifically iBooks. We have also independently heard that educational content is being prepared for tomorrow’s presentation.

Today, Bloomberg Businessweek backs up those reports by adding that “Apple executives plan to make a point of highlighting the iPad’s educational capabilities at tomorrow’s event.” The report cited sources familiar with the preparation of tomorrow’s events, and it noted that Apple has “realigned its education sales force to emphasize iPads.” While most analysts seem to agree iPad mini will help Apple continue to dominate the education tablet market, one thing they can’t agree on is price.

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How Steve Jobs helped Barack Obama’s re-election campaign get more social and go viral

Barack Obama’s current Campaign Manager Jim Messina revealed recently that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs encouraged him to capitalize on technology in ways that are boosting the president’s re-election efforts.

According to Businessweek, Messina quit his gig as the White House deputy chief of staff in January to become Obama’s 2012 campaign manager. He immediately met with executives at Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DreamWorks, and more to commence a forward thinking stand for office.

“I went around the country for literally a month of my life interviewing these companies and just talking about organizational growth, emerging technologies, marketing,” said Messina to Businessweek.

He further described two conversations that he had with Jobs while still acting as deputy chief. The Apple co-founder told Messina last year that mobile technology—coupled with social—had to be the primary focus in the re-election effort.

“Last time you were programming to only a couple of channels,” said Jobs, while referring to the Web and email. “This time, you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels—Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google—because people are segmented in a very different way than they were four years ago.”

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