The countdown to the launch of the Apple Watch is ticking down, and we've taken a look back at the big Apple stories from the past week. Read on to find out what the Cupertino giant was up to over Easter.
Apple Watch for the wealthy
Apple has apparently developed a unique experience for those interested in buying the 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition, according to 9to5Mac. This means that as soon as a customer interested in buying one of the high-end devices enters the store, they'll get an immediate appointment with an Apple Watch in-store expert who they can have all to themselves for up to an hour.
Apple will also let high-end buyers set up a video conferencing session so they don't even need to bother visiting an Apple shop.
These target customers would no doubt be able to afford tens or hundreds of the smartwatches, but Apple will reportedly let them try on only two gold models at a time to reduce the risk of theft.
The target buyer will get a choice of two stools and a special watch try-on mat, and once a customer has decided to make a purchase they can skip to the front of the queue to pay.
They'll also be given a hotline to two years of technical phone support and can get their Apple Watch Edition couriered to any store.
The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order on 10 April, and launches on 24 April. The Apple Watch Edition is available in yellow and rose 18-carat gold, and costs from £8,000 to £13,500.
Apple and IBM cosy up further
The enterprise partnership between Apple and IBM has borne more fruit with the release of eight further business applications.
The Apple and IBM deal was announced in the summer of 2014 when IBM committed to the MobileFirst Platform for iOS and Apple provided AppleCare for enterprise customers.
The firms plan to have 100 apps available to the business community by the end of this year, aimed at pushing the use of iPhones and iPads in the enterprise market. The eight apps launched last week include tools for the healthcare, airline and travel industries.
So far around 30 apps have been released, 10 of which arrived at the official launch of the partnership in July last year.
IBM added Passenger Care for the travel and transport industries, Dynamic Buy for the retail sector and Advisor Alerts for banking and financial services customers to its MobileFirst portfolio for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices earlier this year.
Apple's music streaming plans face EC probe
The European Commission (EC) is apparently in the early stages of an investigation into Apple's rumoured music streaming service to determine the impact it could have on the market.
Apple has not yet announced a music streaming service, but such a move is considered highly likely after the firm acquired Beats.
A report in The Financial Times (FT) said that the EC has already spoken to rival streaming services, record labels and the music industry in an attempt to identify their relationships with Apple and what kind of arrangements the firm is proposing.
Given Apple's huge financial clout and relationship with music labels through iTunes, the company could pose a serious threat to existing market leaders such as Swedish firm Spotify or French music provider Deezer.
The FT said that formal investigations would be undertaken only as the result of any official complaints from other firms in the market. However, the EC can carry out prior investigations if it feels compelled to do so.
Apple has declined to comment on the reports.
Apple Watch to boost wearable sales
The Apple Watch will help drive wearable technology shipments to 45.7 million in 2015 and as high as 126 million by 2019 as the market grows rapidly.
Analyst house IDC forecasts that a combination of new devices, more vendors and greater user awareness will result in 133 percent shipment growth over the 19.6 million units shipped in 2014.
Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's wearables team, highlighted that the Apple Watch's imminent release will boost adoption of wearable technology.
"The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight," he said.
"Basic wearables, meanwhile, will not disappear. In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices."
Wrist-worn wearables will dominate the market, accounting for more than 90 percent of all wearables shipped in 2015, according to IDC.
iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S6
V3 posted its in-depth comparison of the latest flagship devices from Apple and Samsung last week to see whether the S6 could beat the iPhone 6 to the title of best smartphone.
The inevitable Apple versus Samsung smartphone grudge match has become a yearly event in most technology fans' calendars.
Previously the fight has been fairly close, as both firms have released at best moderate updates to their smartphone portfolios.
However, Apple was the undisputed winner in 2014 with what in many people's minds is its finest smartphone to date, the iPhone 6. Featuring a completely reworked design and wealth of new features, the iPhone 6 remains one of the best smartphones available.
By comparison the Galaxy S5 was regarded by many buyers as a rather mediocre upgrade and it failed to deliver on sales projections from analysts or Samsung itself.
Not willing to let history repeat itself, Samsung took drastic steps to rework its handset and developed what it describes as its "most advanced handset to date", the Galaxy S6. We compared every aspect of the S6 and the iPhone S6 to see whether Samsung could win this year's battle.
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