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the evolution of Apple’s watch straps

The Apple Watch encloses in its small metal and glass case a great importance for Cupertino’s company. It is a new category, for which the company has no previous experience . As with other products such as the iPhone or iPod, Apple has had to learn on the go.

Several executives have repeated on a handful of occasions that the Apple Watch is the company’s most personal device. To reinforce this vision, Apple has created a wide variety of straps that serve all tastes. One year after their launch, it is time to review the brief but intense career that these Apple Watch accessories have followed.

Launch straps

the evolution of Apple’s watch straps
the evolution of Apple’s watch straps

The Apple Watch was launched with three different collections: aluminium, steel and gold. Each of these collections is available in two case sizes, in 38 and 42mm . Accompanying the central element of this device we saw twenty different straps, divided into different “families”:

  • Fluoroelastomer (rubber) straps in five colors (black, white, pink, green and blue) were the only ones Apple designed for the most affordable model, the Apple Watch Sport. But they are also found in the steel and gold collection. In the latter, the clasp is also made of this precious metal.
  • The steel Apple Watch enjoyed a wider range at its launch than the Sport. In addition to the five colors of the rubber straps, we had two steel straps (Milanese and links) and seven leather straps of different types and colors (classic buckle, modern buckle, Loop).
  • For the most exclusive model, the Apple Watch Edition, Apple only offered five types of straps which were also not available for both sizes. Two of them were rubber and the other three were modern and classic buckles.

In total, we had twenty straps in different sizes that allowed for a total of 34 different combinations. For a wearable device where customisation was paramount, Apple did not fall short on variety. Although it was not enough.

New belts in September and March

No more than six months after its launch, the Californian company decided to update and include new straps for its smart watch . A clearly targeted update to prepare this device for the Christmas campaign, just a few months later:

  • Apple added ten new colors to the rubber Sport belt, including the popular red. It also introduced new colors for the aluminum cases: gold and pink gold.
  • For the steel collection we only saw a new brown leather strap, very classic.

But the real novelty of this upgrade was the launch of their alliance with Hermès. With this initiative, Apple brought as a partner a company of great reputation in the leather products market. To this strap, an exclusive sphere of this model had to be added, in accordance with the style and typography of this fashion brand.

With the new belts, it became clear that their aim was to offer more variety in the most popular model
Apple Watch, 365 días después.

This update could be interpreted as a recognition of the success of the Sport collection. As it is the most affordable option and identical in functionalities to the other two collections, we can deduce that most sales of this wearable were concentrated on it. Especially when it comes to being a gift for Christmas.

As for the update a few weeks ago, Apple launched five straps made of a new material, nylon, in addition to a black Milanese strap. A type of strap also oriented to the Sport model but that fits aesthetically in the steel model. At the same time, and almost a year after its launch, Apple lowered the price of the Sport model by 50 dollars, placing it at 299 dollars for the 38mm model .

Apple and the Mystery Port of the Apple Watch

As soon as the Apple Watch was launched to the public, the first users discovered a mysterious port. Located in the “lane” where one end of the strap fits, this port gave rise to all sorts of speculation . Of all of them, our colleague Miguel López collected the four most credible.

Apple does not allow official access to this port, but its existence is very interesting. Apart from diagnosing the device, I think it is intended to extend the functionality of the Apple Watch. It is a device of very reduced dimensions, where the “intelligent” part is centered in the metal box that encloses its circuits. But there’s nothing intelligent about the straps.

The evolution of the Apple Watch may not be as focused on its case as the opportunities presented by the straps

For a device that is in permanent contact with our body, this sounds like a waste of opportunity. Considering the increasingly close relationships between Apple and different hospitals in the USA , it would not be strange to find straps that measure some kind of parameter of our body in another way.

The Apple Watch has significant weight and dimensional restrictions due to the nature of wearable devices. The strap can be the way to grow in functionality without losing on other fronts : weight, comfort, volume. Let’s hope that this September we will have news about it.

At Apple

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