Just like Apple’s special media event in September and October of 2014, this event revealed a plethora of new products and updates for many of their product lines. In this post, we explore updates with the Apple TV, iPhone and Apple Pay.
Retail Store Updates
Apple CEO Tim Cook started the Spring Forward special media event by talking about some new figures they have in terms of retail. There are now over 453 Apple Retail Stores in 16 countries. Apple recently made a visit to China to dramatically expand their presence there. Their goal is to open over 40 new stores in China by the end of this year. In the past quarter, over 120 million people worldwide visited their retail stores.
The Apple TV has been a huge success for Apple. To date, Apple has sold over 25 million set-top boxes. It now supports over fifty channels, including the new HBO NOW channel that was announced today. This channel, which will be exclusively found on the Apple TV, will give subscribers access to all of HBO’s original programming like Game of Thrones and all Hollywood blockbusters. The channel will be available starting in early April for a subscription fee of $14.99 per month. Users that sign up for the service in April will get their first month free. The Apple TV also saw a price reduction to only $69.
The iPhone has also been a huge success for Apple and is now the number one selling smartphone in the world. Apple recently sold their 700 millionth iPhone and the newest models (6 and 6 Plus) have a nearly impossible 99% customer satisfaction rate. Cook provided us with updates about CarPlay, the Health app and a new software framework called ResearchKit.
CarPlay takes the important tasks on iPhone, like play music and call friends, and puts it on the car’s built-in display. Apple told us today that every major car brand has committed to delivering Apple Pay and the system will be available on more than forty new car models by the end of this year.
The new Health app, which came with iOS 8, syncs all health data into one centralized app. There are over 900 apps that are integrated with Health. This inspired Apple to reach out to medical professionals to provide a new service called ResearchKit.
ResearchKit is a software framework that is made specifically for medical research. There are five apps currently available on the App Store that will be geared towards certain diseases, like Asthma and Breast Cancer. These apps will become diagnostic tools to help medical professionals obtain more information. Each app will have various tests and other information to help the user diagnose this disease and the data obtained will be used to further medical research. Users will have complete privacy with what information they share. Users can decide whether or not to participate, how their data is shared and Apple will not be able to see the data. ResearchKit is coming in April.
Apple briefly touched upon updates with Apple Pay. Apple Pay has gained a lot of momentum since it was launch in October and is now supported by over 2,500 banks and credit unions. When the service first came out, there were only six supporting banks. Apple has tripled the number of locations that will accept the payment service and Coca-Cola hopes to have over 100,000 vending machines accepting Apple Pay by the end of 2015.