This weekend, my colleague Jordan Kahn broke the news that “accessory makers plan to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps and faster charging,” which is entirely true based on already-expressed developer interest. There is indeed a six-pin port nestled inside one of the watch band recesses, completely covered with a metal panel to obscure its functionality. Unfortunately, Jordan’s story has been picked up elsewhere to support the claim that the hidden port will be “a goldmine for accessory makers.” I hate to take issue with these reports, as the concept — exploiting a hidden port to make new accessories — is exciting, but I have one word for people who are planning to build or buy accessories reliant upon that port:
Stop before you spend $250 to order an accessory that might never arrive or work properly. Stop before you spend $250,000 to build an accessory that might never ship, or might ship and then stop working.
The Apple Watch is not the first Apple product with an undocumented connector. There’s a very good reason the hidden port is there — and it’s not for accessories. I’ll explain below…