Apple Holds Media Event, Unveils Apple Watch and New MacBook

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -

Make calls, read email, control music, manage Instagram photos, keep up with your workout, pay for groceries or open your hotel room door. At a media event Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said you can do it all from your wrist with Apple Watch – for 18 hours a day. That’s how long the battery will last on an average day.

Pre-orders start April 10. The device costs $349 for a base model, while a luxury gold version will go for $10,000. Industry watchers are eager to see if Apple’s version will be the tipping point for the sluggish smartwatch market. There was similar skepticism when Apple released the iPad in 2010, yet the company has successfully sold millions and its popularity has shaken up the PC market.

The stakes are high for a company that just dislodged AT&T as one of the 30 stocks comprising the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average. The watch is the first brand-new device Apple has launched without Steve Jobs.

Cook directed Apple’s big event Monday in San Francisco, unveiling a shiny, skinny and silent MacBook weighing in at just two pounds that the company said is the world’s most energy-efficient laptop. Apple also has touted growth in iPhone sales and Apple Pay adoption – Cook said 2,500 banks are now signed up with Apple Pay, which is available in 700,000 retail locations nationwide – and announced a set of tools called ResearchKit to help hospitals and research centers develop apps for patients.