New Zealand won't get the Apple Watch for a while, so if you wanted the full bling trifecta of a gold iPhone, gold MacBook and gold wristwatch immediately, too bad.

Well, you could try heading over to Australia where the 18-carat yellow or rose gold Apple Watch will go for sale in April, for a mere A$14,000. Well, the gold Apple Watch starts at that price, so it's lucky the Kiwi and Aussie dollars are almost worth the same, isn't it?

If you do have that sort of money lying around though, start queuing up now because there will only be limited amounts of the gold Apple Watch available in each market.

Read also:
Apple Watch - $10,000 gold model unveiled
3 reasons Apple's watch will - or won't - change the game


There are plenty of doubters out there who don't think Apple Watch will be a hit. In a way, it's a similar situation to when Apple launched the first iPhone which seemed underwhelming at the time with for instance just GPRS/EDGE data when others had 3G.

We all know what happened: in just a few years, Apple developed the iPhone into something much more than just a smartphone, with the apps ecosystem, and refined every aspect of it.

The latest iPhones are excellent devices. Apple will no doubt have applied many of the lessons learnt some of the painful mistakes that happened as the iPhone grew up, and applied those to the Watch.

I'm still in two minds though over having two personal devices to charge every day and it'll be interesting to see how much the 18-hour typical maximum battery life of the Apple Watch will matter.

Battery life on the original iPhone wasn't very impressive either but people didn't care and it sold well nevertheless. I suspect the same will be true for the Apple Watch.

More annoying is the fact that the Apple Pay contactless mobile payments system will be supported in the US only for Apple Watch.

Imagine that: you plonk down over fourteen big ones for a smartwatch, and can't even buy a coffee with it.

Mo' MacBling

Another thing that happened today: buying a new Apple notebook's become more complicated.


The newly announced and lovely-looking MacBook for instance is thinner than the 12-inch MacBook Air and slightly lighter (and you can get it in gold colour) at 930 grams.

Furthermore, it has a Retina display with 2,340 by 1440 pixels and the new buzzy Force Touch haptic feedback trackpad.

That's good stuff, but to keep the 12-inch MacBook svelte and slim Apple removed the fans, which is possible with the low-power Intel Core M processor, and took away all ports bar one.

The 12-inch MacBook has a multi-purpose USB 3.0 Type C port only that is used for charging the notebook itself, peripherals like your iPhone as well as data transfers (at a promised 5 gigabit per second).

But wait, the USB-C port does more: it can be used as a DisplayPort 1.2 video out connector as well.

That little port does lots but only one thing at the time. If you want to charge the MacBook and do other things via the USB-C port, a separate hub is required, ideally with an SD card reader. Having to carry one of those means you lose some of the weight and space saving advantages of the 12-inch MacBook compared to other Apple notebooks.

A cheaper 11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air on the other hand provides two USB 3 and one ThunderBolt 2 port, a headphone jack and SD card slot plus a separate MagSafe 2 power connector.

The MacBook Air range has been updated with faster flash storage and new, quicker Intel Core i5 processors, but you don't get the hi-res Retina display and they are a little heavier than the 12-inch MacBook.

Going up the price range, the 13-inch MacBook Pro now has a 2560 by 1600 pixel Retina display and the Force Touch haptic trackpad. The MBP has also been given new dual core Intel Core i5 and i7 chips, faster flash storage but it weighs 1.58kg which is a fair bit more than the MacBook.

If you can put up with the added heft and volume, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro looks like the best all-rounder, with the mid-range 2.7GHz Core i5 model costing $100 less than the 1.2GHz Core M MacBook at $2,299 including GST. Annoyingly, Apple's removed the option to upgrade the MacBook Pro storage from 256GB to 512GB, same as the MacBook.

To get 512GB (or even 1TB) of flash storage, you have to fork out $2,799 for the top of the range 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro but you get a faster, 2.9GHz processor as well.

I wonder how many people will bother to sift through the tech specs and pick optional upgrades to get the best value, and instead just go "I want the gold one" and go for the 12-inch MacBook no matter what? Can't we just have gold MacBook Air and Pros as well, Apple?

While honing the design and specs of its hardware, Apple is cautiously expanding its services offerings as well. Well, expanding them in the US at least.

The ResearchKit open source software framework for building health monitoring apps that use the sensors on newer iPhones could be really quite interesting - and pushes people even more towards the Apple fold of course.

ResearchKit is not yet available in NZ, which is a shame if you're developer, and oddly enough, doesn't run on the Apple Watch.

You probably wouldn't want to watch Game of Thrones on your Apple Watch, courtesy of Apple's deal with HBO Now, but I'd pay $20 or whatever a month to get it and other movies on a larger device.

Again though, HBO Now is US-only with no date given for NZ arrival which... grates, actually. It may be possible to work around the geo-blocking with American Apple accounts and iTunes gift vouchers, but we really shouldn't have to jump through hoops like that, in order to give service providers money.