Apple Online Store goes down ahead of Spring Forward event

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 12.02.14The Apple Store is down, in preparation for announcements later today at Apple’s Spring Forward event. The store going down is a very strong indicator that something new will be available to buy after the event is over — but what products? The most likely answer is new MacBooks.

There is also the potential of Apple Watch preorders, although these are more likely to take place in a couple of weeks, assuming an April launch.

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Apple Watch predicted to take 55% of the 2015 global smartwatch market with 15.4M units shipped

Apple Watch shipments Strategy Analytics

Research firm Strategy Analytics released its latest report today forecasting global Apple Watch sales and smartwatch marketshare for 2015. The firm’s predictions put Apple’s anticipated global smartwatch marketshare at more than half with 54.8% reached in 2015. Notably, that forecasted percentage is versus all other smartwatches combined competing with the Apple Watch.

While the report predicts that Apple will take the overwhelming majority of smartwatch sales this year, it predicts a relatively conservative number of units shipped globally in 2015 at 15.4 million. That forecast still beats the collective “other” group with a 12.7 million units shipped globally predicted.

To be clear, the firm is predicting that the as-of-yet unreleased Apple Watch will outsell the existing smartwatch market in 2015…

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Apple Watch ‘pop up’ stores prognosticated for Paris, London and SXSW

Selfridges_London
Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Apple Watch makes UK fashion magazine debut with three-page feature in Style

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Following from features in fashion magazines in France and Germany, the Apple Watch has made its UK editorial debut in Sunday’s publication of Style. Although the Watch is not on the cover of the issue I received, there are four covers circulating — one of them features the Apple Watch as the cover photo. Regardless of whether you get a copy of the magazine with the special cover or not, inside the Watch gets three pages of press coverage.

The main picture features Guinevere Van Seenus wearing a 38mm Apple Watch Sport with Space Grey case and black sport band. The written accompaniment says that the Apple Watch does not convey ‘power, status and discernment’ like a Rolex can but holds back no punches in saying it will ‘wipe the floor with existing smartwatch manufacturers and give mid-market watchmakers a fright’. The magazine compliments Jony Ive in particular, for the design.

Jony Ive has got the tone of the Apple Watch just right. It looks elegant but not standoffish, and as well as the 18 variations of the regular version, there are the 10 Sport options, which come with a lightweight case, strengthened glass and a rubber strap, plus the more expensive Edition range (six models), made from 18ct gold.

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Apple Watch returns to Vogue w/ first video ad & multi-page spread showing life size shots

(via Carlos Ribas)

As Apple prepares to bring the Apple Watch to market in just a few short weeks, the company is once again turning to Vogue magazine to showcase its new product category or wearable devices. We first saw the Apple Watch make its magazine debut on the cover of Vogue China late last year, and now the popular fashion-focused publication is featuring a multi-page spread displaying various Apple Watch collections. What’s more impressive, though, is the first video ad campaign for the Apple Watch found in the digital version of Vogue seen below… Read more

Don’t cancel your ski plans, Apple’s not having an event in Feb.

Apple Introduces Two New iPhone Models At Product Launch

Contrary to a report from the often-reliable French blog iGen.fr, Apple is apparently not planning a media event late this month to introduce the Apple Watch or other new products, sources tell 9to5Mac.

Several media reports picked up the rumor today, repeating claims that Apple has planned an event for the last week of February, perhaps February 24. The blog speculated that the event could also include the introduction of the in development 12-inch MacBook we revealed earlier this year. Read more

Why my next car probably won’t have CarPlay (Spoiler: Apple Watch)

Apple Watch CarPlay

My next new car probably won’t have CarPlay. I’ve reached this decision in part due to automakers’ slow crawl to put CarPlay in vehicles that you can actually buy today. While 2015 may bring the feature to more vehicles on the road with more than 30 automobile brands committed to ship CarPlay in the future, we’re still not there yet and the roll out is slow.

More influential, though, is my experience using aftermarket CarPlay in my current car for several months convincing me that CarPlay’s features are not yet where they need to be. As I noted in my hands-on review last fall, CarPlay introduces a new set of problems while trying to make using your iPhone in the car safer and easier.

So if CarPlay isn’t ultimately the answer to creating a better iPhone experience on the road, then what is? I’m convinced the Apple Watch will be better suited…

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Apple hires Burberry’s VP of Digital Retail initiatives ahead of Watch launch

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Apple has made yet another key hire from the fashion industry: Chester Chipperfield, the Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design at Burberry. Chipperfield was “responsible for User Experience and Digital Design for all channels” and was “highly involved in digital retail initiatives” at Burberry, according to his LinkedIn profile. He confirmed the move to Apple on his profile as well as on Twitter

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Apple makes key biomedical & fashion industry additions ahead of Watch launch

Apple Watch at Colette

Apple Watch at Colette

Apple has picked up a few new hires and advisors to assist its growing Watch team ahead of the Apple Watch launch currently on track for March. Among them, Apple has recently hired another executive from the fashion industry, this time from Louis Vuitton, in addition to two new hires from the medical industry. Read more