Since the day the Apple Watch was announced back in September of 2014, potential purchasers everywhere have wondered whether Apple would allow accessory makers to release third-party watch bands to compliment Apple’s myriad of (sometimes expensive) options.
Apple has been silent on the matter, and typical Apple accessory makers haven’t announced anything at this point. While a few clever companies have popped up on Kickstarter (like Click and Monowear) and Indiegogo (Adappt) to offer standard strap adapters and even straps themselves, today’s Apple Watch User Guide suggests that Apple may be preparing an authorization program for third-party manufacturers.
The Apple Watch is made for personalization and customization, so it would certainly make sense for Apple to have an authorized accessory program akin to its MFI accessory certification for iDevices. Apple’s bands are gorgeous, but are definitely not styled (or priced) for everyone, so the more options that are out there, the more appealing the device is for consumers.
I’ve backed the Click on Kickstarter, as well as the Adappt on Indiegogo (which just got an extension of its campaign), and I’d certainly be excited to see what third parties could come up with. The Apple Watch makes swapping bands beyond simple, and I’m actually fairly worried I’ll become addicted and end up spending far more on bands than I did the watch itself. As long as the connector stays the same for generation 2, right?
Have you already ordered an Apple Watch? Which band(s) did you purchase? Are you into the idea of third-party bands? Be sure to let us know!