Almost immediately after the launch of the Apple Watch at Apple’s “Spring Forward” event on Monday, companies are releasing info on third-party alternatives to Apple’s straps for the wearable. While some offer increased functionality, many of the straps offer more budget-friendly alternatives to those released by Apple.
During Apple’s Monday event, they officially launched the Apple Watch, complete with app demos and, finally, an official release date and price points for the different versions. The most entry-level offering, the Apple Watch Sport, ranges from $349 to $399 depending on the size, and ships with an aluminum casing and synthetic rubber band in varying colors. The next upgrade, simply known as the Apple Watch, features stainless steel housing, and varies in price from $549 to $1,099, depending on which size and band you’d like. Lastly, the Apple Watch Edition, features gold casing and ranges from $10,000 all the way up to $17,000.
Many of the pricing differences are due to the band that comes included with the watch. The Sport band will cost you $49, the Milanese Loop and Leather Loop cost $149, the Modern Buckle is priced at $249, and the Link Bracelet band is the most expensive, at $449. While there’s no doubt that Apple’s bands will be of the highest quality, and will match the watch’s aesthetic perfectly, there’s also no doubt that they are a bit pricey.
Several companies are looking to cash in on the Apple Watch release, offering more economical choices for bands that fit the wearable. Monowear Design has created a Kickstarter campaign to release a variety of leather, nylon, casual, and sport bands for $50-$80 dollars, much cheaper than the Apple counterparts. Aiming to allow for even greater customization, Click is looking to introduce a product that will allow customers to use any watch band with the Apple Watch. Some straps look to offer more than just customization options – the Reserve Strap looks to address the Apple Watch’s relatively short battery life by charging it while you wear it, possibly increasing the battery life by 125%.
very Apple product spawns a host of third-party accessories, and the Apple Watch will surely be no different. These are the first of many offerings that will be available for the watch when it ships in April.