AWT News Update: October 14, 2016

Ending up the week with news of a product launch, Tim Cook on AR, and an Apple Store in the Herald Square flagship Macy's Store in New York:

  • The Apple Watch Nike+ edition will arrive at your local Apple Store on October 28, unless you live in NYC...
  • Tim Cook is bullish on augmented reality, not virtual reality
  • There's an Apple "store within a store" in an iconic Macy's store in NYC

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 14, 2016.

Were you drooling at one of the Apple Watch Nike+ versions when they were announced? You’ll only have to wait two more weeks, as Apple quietly announced today through an update on its website that the new sports-oriented Apple Watch edition will launch on October 28. The new device will start at $369 for the 38mm and $399 for the 42mm model, and has a perforated band that is light and breathable that comes in gray or acid green colors. The Nike+ Apple Watches have Nike-designed watch faces and complications that will only be available with this special edition. Apple also mentioned back at the iPhone 7 event that the wireless AirPods would be launched in late October, so we might see them on October 28 as well. We’re still waiting to hear if any new or redesigned Macs will be released in the next few weeks.

If you’re wondering when Apple is going to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon, well, you might be wondering for a long time. Apple CEO Tim Cook has made several comments over the past few months that indicate that the company would rather focus on augmented reality — that is, overlaying data in one form or another onto real life — than creating virtual worlds. In an interview published yesterday, Cook threw out a short statement that really sums up the company’s direction, saying “There’s no substitute for human contact, and so you want the technology to encourage that.” In July, Cook made a statement that “we are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. So we’re investing.” Well, in the interview with BuzzFeed News posted yesterday, Cook really expanded on his comments…in vague terms, of course. Cook said "VR, I think, has some interesting applications, but I don't think it's a broad-based technology like AR. Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it's profound. We might ... have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right? And so I think that things like these are better when they're incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier." Some pundits believe that Apple, knowing what a failure Google Glass was due to its literally “in your face” placement, might consider different devices such as AirPods that would provide audio cues and answers or transparent displays that could be used to overlay data onto a view of the real world. Let’s hope the new products come soon.

Macy’s has opened its Apple store-with-a-store at the Herald Square flagship store in New York. The store offers a big variety of Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iMacs, and Apple Watches. Oddly enough, the store apparently also has the Nike+ Apple Watch in stock ahead of the full product launch we told you about earlier. Macy’s is also hoping to start selling a variety of smartwatches, including Apple Watch, at 180 Macy’s locations nationwide.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.