Apple Inc. Invites Third-Party Watch Band Makers

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The Apple Watch will soon get straps from third-party developers. The iPhone maker has unveiled a site named “Creating Brands for Apple Watch.” The new developer site conveys band design guidelines for third-party companies.

Apple issues guidelines

The guidelines include requirements for the bands to get an Apple certification in the new “Made for Apple Watch” program, like the already running “Made for iPhone” program.

Instructing developers, Apple says, “When creating your custom bands, refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile. Apple Watch lugs will be available soon through the Made for Apple Watch program.”

Instructing third-party developers, the guidelines say the bands should be such that they do not interrupt the direct contact of the skin and watch, which enables the watch’s heart rate sensors to work. Also the bands should be capable of adapting any potential shifting or dimensional change of the material.

What materials to use?

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also talked about physical requirements that the bands should meet, such as not hindering with Apple Watch hardware items like the mic or speaker, the charging pad, the antenna, and the heart rate sensor. These straps should not be larger than the sensor windows, cover the glass or interface with the Digital Crown or Force touch.

The iPhone maker asked parties to use lugs and lug latches of specific materials. Recommended materials for the lugs are silicone, nylon or stainless steel. Thereafter, bands should be in harmony with the environmental regulation in the regions where they will be sold.

Third-party developers and the manufacturers are taking a keen interest in the Apple Watch, which was quietly launched a week ago, and still many early adopters have yet to receive their units. Third-party developers are interested in designing straps for each version of the Apple Watch, starting from the Sport to the luxurious Edition models. The Apple Watch Edition, with an 18-karat rose gold case, is priced at $10,000 and ranges up to $17,000 for yellow gold models with a gold-plated band.

If the guidelines are received well by third-party developers, which most probably they will be, then within a few months, we could witness an influx of new and innovative straps.

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