After announcing an official program for accessory makers interested in making Apple Watch bands back in May, Apple has now delivered on its promise of providing Apple-made watch lugs that third-party manufacturers can use to make straps. That’s the first sign that official third-party watch bands will soon be hitting the market through Apple’s Made for iPhone program (MFi). Companies enrolled in the MFi program can now order the parts (pictured above) through Apple’s supplier (via MR).
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While Apple released guidelines for making watch straps back in May, and many companies have released unofficial bands in the meantime, the official Apple Watch lugs pictured above will allow many accessory makers within Apple’s MFi program to begin creating official bands.
Apart from making the process easier for developers — they’ll no longer have to design their own lugs to fit in with the Apple Watch’s lug mechanism — MFi certification will allow manufacturers to market the products as Apple approved accessories. The lugs are stainless steel and stamped with “Made for Apple Watch,” but Apple has yet to make other colors, like gold, available for third-parties.
And to accompany the official Apple Watch bands, the first Apple Watch docks to use an integrated magnetic charging connector will be arriving very soon.
The lugs sell for around $10 each to manufacturers and are ready to ship within 2 weeks. Until then, you can catch up with some of our recent Apple Watch strap reviews:
- Review: Incipio and Wristouch offer new riffs on premium Apple Watch bands
- Review: Pad & Quill’s Classic Band dresses Apple Watch in rugged, American leather
- Hands-on with an affordable alternative to Apple’s Link Bracelet for Apple Watch
- Hands-on: Apple Watch standalone bands, packaging, & swapping