Despite speculation to the contrary, Apple does in fact plan to sell an array of bands as separate accessories for the Apple Watch at launch, according to sources. So far Apple has only shown the Watch in pre-assembled collections, which reduces their potential for customization, but our sources say that Apple’s retail outlets will be stocked on day one with individual straps so customers can easily mix and match the looks of their Watches.
While Apple has hinted at millions of combinations of Apple Watch when considering the various watch faces and interchangeable strap combos, up until now we’ve not had confirmation that straps would be available to purchase separately alongside the Apple Watch at launch.
What we know about the Apple Watch lineup so far from Apple is that it will come in three models— Apple Watch, Sport, and Edition— with each of those models offering a selection of the total 6 straps Apple has shown so far on the 38mm size, 42mm size, or both. Some of the straps Apple shows on its website, such as the Modern Buckle and Leather Loop— will be limited to either the 38mm or 42mm models in select colors for the Apple Watch and gold Apple Watch Edition. It’s unclear Apple’s exact motivation in limiting certain watch straps to either the 38mm and 42mm options in the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition lineups. The Apple Watch Sport line offers all strap options and colors for both sizes, according to Apple’s site. However, it’s possible that some of the straps Apple shows as limited to either the 38mm or 42mm sizes will become available to purchase for the other size separately.
Some straps and bracelets might make more sense to offer as standalone accessories. Not offering straps for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition could be something Apple does strategically to increase the exclusivity of those models that many expect to sell as high-end fashion items with matching price tags.
There’s no confirmation on what straps Apple will make available to purchase separately at launch or if the options will reflect all variations of the device currently shown on Apple’s website. It’s of course also possible, and quite likely, that Apple will offer straps beyond the designs it’s outed so far.