Monday's Apple (AAPL) event was a snooze fest on the surface, but there were some intriguing surprises under the surface.
CEO Tim Cook gushed over the new, super thin MacBook. It's equipped with sturdier, thinner keys. The thing is silent and weighs a mere two pounds. Wow, wish I had this thing when I was in college. Then there is something called Health Kit. Honestly, I'm not too sure what it does, or what it means to me as of today, but I suppose group sharing of health remedies could lead to the curing of diseases over time, and Apple will have set that in motion. Awesome.
Here are five of the less obvious, but fun, things (besides being able to take calls on the Apple Watch) to lock in on from today's event.
The $10,000 Apple Watch
If this device ends up in the display cases of Macy's (M), where tourist spending is high, it could be a boost to the company's same-store sales -- it's that simple. Overall, the pricing on this super premium Apple Watch is outlandish given the components inside of it will be outdated as soon as the next model is teased. No worries Patek Phillipe or Rolex, Apple is unlikely to make material inroads into your turf. The same can't be said of Fossil (FOSL) or Movado (MOV), the latter of which holds licenses for Coach (COH), Lacoste and other lower-end watch brands
Where Are the Retail Partners?
Apple showed off a new custom-made Apple Watch table for its retail stores. Although Tim Cook mentioned Apple Watch will be available at other retailers, the lack of early partnerships has me concerned on supplies given to, say, Best Buy (BBY). I believe Apple wants to, and needs to, control the Apple Watch's launch; it has to drive product knowledge in its own stores, and then worry about getting inside retailers' doors.
The Power of the Apple Watch
As I outlined last week, the Apple Watch will open up hotel room doors, allow for airport check in and help check you out faster at Whole Foods (WFM). And, no, I didn't have advanced info on what Apple execs were going to say; it's just a whole bunch of earnings-transcript readings. If you are an Apple bull, you have to like the investments other companies are making to support the Apple Watch. Doing so will give people a reason to buy the device, as it will help improve their daily lives.
The number of apps available for launch has been a major concern on the Apple Watch. Apple sought to dispel the concern, noting it has thousands of apps in development. I loved seeing that Uber is on board with an app. I love that Facebook's (FB) Instagram has an app ready to go, one that brings up pictures and is similar in its experience on a smartphone. Starwood's (HOT) W Hotels has a check-in app that will also unlock room doors with a wave of the Apple Watch. And a company called Alarms.com has an app that live streams your garage -- somewhat of a tease to live streaming content on the Apple Watch. Wouldn't mind watching Vines on the Apple Watch, neither would advertisers who pay for space on Twitter.
Apple has done an adequate job of conveying the watch's durability. For a $349 sport edition, I was left with the sense that the product won't break in the gym or if I trip on sidewalks of New York. I suspect more marketing on product durability will be needed in the weeks leading up to the April 24 launch.
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