The media invitation Apple sent out for a March 9 "special event" doesn't offer details about the reason for the gathering. However, the "Spring Forward" message on the invite is leading many to believe the star of the occasion will be the soon-to-launch Apple Watch.
"Spring forward," of course, is the saying that helps most of us remember to set our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Saving Time. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 8, just a day before Apple's special event.
The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Pacific time, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. The Apple Watch itself is set to hit the market sometime in April.
iPhone, Apple Pay Integration
Apple announced its take on the "smart" watch last September, on the same day it revealed news about the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and iOS 8. In unveiling the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook said the device would be "the most personal product we've ever made."
Featuring a "Digital Crown" to enable scrolling, zooming and navigating, the Apple Watch will allow users to send and receive messages and answer calls via an integrated iPhone.
Other Apple Watch features will enable users to manage their calendars, check on stock prices, get directions or find information about their current location. The timepiece will also support the Apple Pay mobile payment system and Passbook boarding passes for airline travel, and let users control their Apple TV digital media players.
Several health and fitness capabilities initially promised for the Apple Watch, however, will not be included. Plans to have the watch monitor heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels were dropped because the sensors were too inconsistent, according to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal. The tightness of the watch band, skin moisture levels, and hairiness of the wearer's arms reportedly caused too much variation despite four years of research, development and testing.
Still a Mystery: Prices and Launch Date
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Apple Watch, including prices (the starting price is reported to be $350 for the most basic version) and the actual launch date. Presumably, the March 9 special event is aimed at providing more such details about the device ahead of its release.
For now, we do know that the Apple Watch will come in three styles -- standard, Sport and Apple Watch Edition -- as well as two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The watch face itself will be available in a variety of finishes, including polished or "space black" stainless steel, "space gray," silver anodized aluminum, 18-karat rose gold or 18-karat yellow gold. Buyers will also be able to choose from an assortment of watch band styles.
Ahead of the March 9 event, Apple is providing a sneak peek at some of the Apple Watch styles via a 12-page, full-color advertising spread in the March issue of Vogue. The images in the spread include a silver Apple Watch with a magnetic, stainless-steel mesh Milanese Loop band; a watch with a lime-green elastomer Sport Band; and a closeup of the 18-karat rose gold watch face.
Image credit: Product shots by Apple.