On Monday, Apple Inc. is expected to shed new light on the Apple Watch, the first new product category from the company since Tim Cook became CEO in 2011. But that’s likely not the only item on Apple’s agenda that day.
Beyond the watch, a number of other Apple products may take the stage, including an update to its MacBook Air. Here’s what attendees are likely to see at Apple's Spring Forward event (set your watches, people, get it?) at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
Apple Watch Questions Answered
After Apple Watch was announced in September, Apple left many questions half-answered or unanswered about its first smartwatch, including “How much will it cost?" and "Will it last more than a day on a charge?”
The company has remained mum on the first question, except for the Sport, which will start at $349. But several analysts expect pricing for the 18-karat Edition model to start around $5,000, according to a research note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The stainless steel model may come in between $499 and $549, he added.
Battery life, however, is one subject that Apple has only lightly touched on. In an interview with the Telegraph last month, Cook said the Apple Watch's battery will last a whole day, but he remained vague on specifics.
Real-world battery performance may vary depending on use, according to sources speaking to 9to5Mac. Under constant heavy use, the smartwatch could last as briefly as 2.5 hours, or 19 hours for combined active and passive use. But to squeeze some extra juice out of the Watch, Apple may launch it with a feature called Power Reserve, which throws it into a low power mode that displays only the time, the New York Times reported.
As for a launch date, Apple has already shared during its January earnings call that the Watch will launch in April. But it’s expected to share a more precise date during Monday's event.
12-Inch MacBook Air
Beyond the Apple Watch, one of the most anticipated products Apple is expected to announce is newly designed 12-inch MacBook Air. While official details of the laptop have yet to be revealed, the design may come with fewer ports, a thinner casing and a high-resolution Retina display, according to 9to5Mac. The MacBook previously was expected for release in the fourth quarter of 2014, but production delays on Intel’s low-power Broadwell chips reportedly contributed to a pushed-back release.
Since then, production has reportedly ramped up for the new MacBook, with large-scaled shipments set to begin in the second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple is also expected to unveil refreshes to its current 11- and 13-inch models, with upgraded Intel graphics and Broadwell processors, according to leaked screenshots from Chinese forum Feng.
Probability: Count on it
Before the Apple Watch officially releases in April, iOS users will need to update their iPhones to iOS 8.2, a version of iOS that supports the smartwatch. The incremental update to iOS 8 is also expected to bring a number of improvements to the Health app, such as glucose tracking, along with a number of bug fixes, according to change log notes obtained by BGR. This software update for the iPhone is expected to rollout Monday, in conjunction with Spring Forward.
Probability: Highly likely
Apple’s iPad lineup may get even bigger with the introduction of the so-called iPad Pro. Sitting at 12.9 inches, the tablet may come with a stylus, new processor, USB 3.0 port and Oxide LCD display. But don’t expect it to debut Monday. Several reports have indicated that the iPad has been delayed till at least September, due to the manufacturing issues, such as display yield. The iPad Pro is the latest effort from Apple to boost the popularity of its tablet, which has declined in sales for several quarters.
Probability: Not until later this year.
The Apple TV, around for three years, is old compared to the rest of Apple’s product line -- most of which receive a full revamp almost annually. A refresh of the set-top box has been expected for some time. But despite ongoing reports of negotiations between Apple and content providers, a revamped Apple TV has yet to materialize.
Meantime, Apple has steadily added more content the current generation of its streaming device. And it is expected to be one of HBO’s first partners in April, when the network launches HBO Now, its standalone subscription service.
Probability: Don’t hold your breath.
Apple’s Spring Forward event will start 9 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT and will be livestreamed from its website.