Apple Gilds Smartwatch Lineup With $10,000 18-Karat Gold Model

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Apple Gilds Smartwatch Lineup With $10,000 18-Karat Gold Model

by Chris Preimesberger

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Gold Standard

The Apple Watch Edition, star of the show on March 9, elicited audible gasps in the audience when the price ($10,000) was revealed. It will have all the features Apple can cram into it—plus an 18-karat-gold body that's twice as hard as standard gold. Available for preorder on April 10, the limited-edition Edition will be available only in "select retail stores," CEO Tim Cook said.

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Apple Watch Sport

The Apple Watch Sport models are aimed at a slightly different, and much wider, audience than the Edition, to say the least. Sport is composed of lightweight anodized aluminum, and comes not in gold but in silver and "space gray." Users will be able to choose one of the five different fluoroelastomer band covers. All Apple Watches, gold or otherwise, come in these screen sizes: 38mm (272 by 340 pixels on screen) and 42mm (312 by 390 pixels). All Apple Watches feature health sensors (accelerometer, built-in heart rate sensor), WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0. Pricing for Sport starts at $349.

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Apple Watch

Please note that all Apple watches are not the Apple Watch. Yes, it's a bit confusing, but the midrange Apple Watch is made of highly polished cold-forged stainless steel or aluminum and comes with black stainless steel cases. It comes with three different leather bands: a link bracelet, a Milanese loop and a high-performance fluoroelastomer band. All Apple Watches feature Retina touch-screen displays with Force Touch, and sapphire glass or Ion-X glass cover, depending on the model. They also have a linear actuator (called the Taptic Engine) and built-in speaker for instant tactile feedback. Pricing ranges from $599 to $1,099 for the 42mm case and $549 to $1,049 for the 38mm case.

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Lots of Feature and Apps Support

All Apple Watches have near-field communication (NFC) support (for Apple Pay payments), 18 hours of battery life and MagSafe charging, Apple said. They are compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and they feature Apple Pay and Siri support.

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Most Things You Can Do With iPhone, You Can Do with Apple Watch

Among the first apps available on the watches will be Siri, Salesforce Wave, MLB At Bat, Twitter, American Airlines and Uber, which are built into it. Other apps, such as garage-door openers and home environment controls, can easily be added. The watch also has a built-in speaker and microphone, so the user can take phone calls on it. (Remember voice?)

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Maps on Your Wrist

Any notification you can receive on your iPhone, you can receive on Apple Watch. Maps right on your wrist can be a handy feature in a pinch. Still, drivers seeking directions will need to be as careful with the Apple Watch as they should be with a smartphone.

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Apple Watch: The Newest Fitness Tracker

Apple is jumping into a crowded wearable device space when it comes to health-related devices, which already include the popular Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit and Fuelband. But Apple is confident that its loyal brand audience will want the high-end Apple Watch to do what the other devices do and more.

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CEO Tim Cook Shows New MacBook

Apple has updated its non-Retina display MacBook Airs and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The new MacBook introduced at the event is 24 percent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air, and it weighs a mere 2 pounds. Adding to the high-end motif Apple plainly likes to show, both new MacBooks can be obtained in a gold finish.

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So Thin You Almost Can't See It

The MacBook base model features a 1.6GHz (2.7GHz Turbo) dual-core Core i5-5250U and an Intel HD 6000 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB PCI Express solid-state drives (SSDs). Apple claims all-day battery life (8 hours), and the Intel chip runs on only 5 watts of power. Base price is $1,299; a second configuration for $1,599 features a 12-inch Retina display, a 1.2 GHz Intel Core M processor, 8GB memory and 512GB storage.

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One Port, and One Port Only

Apple has included one USB-C port on the MacBook. Users will need a splitter to add multiple devices.

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MacBook Pricing Chart, for the Record

Here is what you get when pricing either of the two new MacBook models.

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Apple Expands Its TV World

Apple has expanded its Apple TV offerings to the above content creators. In addition, Apple and HBO have created HBO NOW, which is HBO on Apple TV without a cable or satellite subscription. HBO NOW will be available exclusively in the United States, on Apple TV and in the App Store for $15 per month.

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Apple's Many Market Challenges Around the Globe

If Apple's quarterly financial performance says anything, it's that the company is a financial juggernaut. Despite all of the competition it faces in several core markets, including smartphones, tablets and computers, it's more successful than any other company in the industry. But the fact is no company, including Apple, is invulnerable in the highly competitive technology industry. Apple has succeeded in the face of a massive amount of market challenges; however, new ones keep popping up. This slide show looks at who and what might be creeping up behind Apple. The company may be wildly successful and its products enormously popular, but it's fighting market battles on multiple fronts around the world. In some markets, such as China, Apple hasn't been able to achieve dominance as it has in so many other markets around the globe. Whether it's smartphones, mobile operating systems, tablets...