Annual Apple Watch Upgrades Seen as Likely Despite ‘Smart Bands’ Rumour


It was reported last week by a Czech website that ‘Smart Bands’ are currently in the works with built-in sensors to add additional health tracking capabilities to the current-generation Apple Watch, and are expected to launch sometime in 2016. Today, 9to5Mac is claiming that their sources have also confirmed that the Apple Watch is indeed capable of sourcing health data from bands i.e its diagnostic port was actually designed with the possibility of bands with sensors launching in the future.

“These potential sensor bands could also integrate with the Apple Watch over Bluetooth, and Bluetooth-based health accessory connectivity is already an option in the Apple Watch’s Settings application, but sources note that the port is actually more reliable and faster than Bluetooth.”

The report however goes on to claim that the potential presence of ‘Smart Bands’ will not deter Apple’s plans of annually upgrading the Apple Watch, and that a second-generation Apple Watch with some internal prototypes including a FaceTime camera on the front of the device, is already being developed by Apple. The source further says that some third-party developers are already looking to add functionality to the current-generation model via the diagnostic port with technology-infused bands.

“Besides the uncertainty of bands providing a more accurate reading on health data in comparison to sensors on the bottom of the Apple Watch’s case, selling bands that integrate with the Apple Watch’s diagnostic port would not be a pleasant user experience. The port is fully covered by a difficult-to-remove cap on the Apple Watch, which would be tough for users to adjust even with a watch band upgrade kit”.

While Apple has already introduced a “Made for Apple Watch” program for accessory makers to build official accessories, this category however does not yet cover such Apple Watch bands.