Watch out, Apple's about: what to expect from Apple's March 9th event

Apple's about to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about the Apple Watch. But what else could we see on Monday?

Do you feel it? The excitement fizzing in the air? A vague tingling in your wrist? An Apple event is coming: March 9th is the date to circle on your calendar. 

But what delicate pearls of wisdom will Tim Cook and his team hand down this coming Monday? Here's what we're hoping to find out... 

When and where we can get an Apple Watch

Apple may have clued us in to the existence of the Apple Watch last year, but it's kept the particulars quiet.

We want to know when it's going to go on sale - our best guess based on iPhone and iPad launches is that pre-orders will open shortly after the event, with the watch going on sale on a Friday at a later date.

Rumours peg April as the on-sale month, although we hope it'll be more like late March. 

How much the Watch will cost

But before we go placing our pre-orders, we want to know how much of a dent the Watch will make in our bank accounts. We already know that pricing will start at US$349 but that's likely to be for the basic Sport option, which rocks colourful rubber straps and a lightweight aluminium casing. It's basically the iPhone 5C of the watch world. 

So what sort of outlay are we looking at for the stainless steel Watch? The smart money is on "a big one". There's speculation that the top end model could set you back US$1000 - or, as we like to call it now, Huawei money.  

How much the gold Edition Watch will cost

Not because we necessarily want to buy it, but because we want to gawp at the number of zeroes on the end of its price tag. Some internet chatter pegs the 18-karat gold Apple Watch at somewhere in the tens of thousands of pounds, while others suspect a more palatable price of around US$5000. Either way: too much for cash-strapped tech journos such as us. 

What apps will be on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch SDK has been out with devs since Apple announced the Watch in September and we know that Apple has been working with some specially selected app partners on the software that will actually make the watch smart.

In true Apple fashion, we'll be expecting Cook and co to show off their favourites on the night, alongside Apple's own homemade apps. If we had to guess, we'd say we'll be seeing some in-depth detail on something productive, something social, something fitness-related and something like a game. 

A new Retina MacBook?

We're sure the Watch will be the main focus of Apple's event, but enough about that. We're hoping for a few other treats along the way, not least the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air that's been rumoured for some time now. 

The fact that fresh word of this unnanounced laptop popped up just this week leads us to suspect that it could make an appearance on Monday. If that's the case, we're expecting Apple to clue us in on pricing at the event before the laptop goes on sale at some point next week.

A Watch-friendly update to iOS 8

We'd be extremely surprised if Apple introduced iOS 9 next week, but iOS 8.2 is not out of the realms of possibility. It won't be a revolution in phone software but will provide the necessary smarts to play nice with the Apple Watch. Other than that, it's probably only going to bring bug fixes and minor updates to the iOS party. 

An updated Apple TV

If we're very lucky, Apple will give us a glimpse at the completely overhauled Apple TV that seems to have been in the works for over a year. With word of HBO's Apple TV app being more or less in place, this could be a portent of hardware news next week. That said, if it's an update as big as the one we're hoping for, Apple's more likely to save it for its own event rather than risk it overshadowing the Apple Watch. 

And one more thing...

Is it too much to hope that Apple might drop its new music streaming service on Monday? Possibly, if you believe the latest rumours which claim that Apple's having trouble bringing its Spotify rival to life. But with ex-Radio One DJ Zane Lowe officially on his way to work at the big fruit, you never know. Could his first order of business be taking to the stage to explain its features?  We shall see. 

Whatever we do see on Monday, we'll be reporting it all as it happens via our Apple Watch event liveblog. So we suggest that you bookmark that right away.