This has been a big week in the world of Apple. On March 21st, the company held a special event where it announced several new products and software releases: the 4-inch iPhone SE, packing the high-end internals of the iPhone 6s into a more compact and manageable size; a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, complete with a Smart Keyboard accessory and support for the Apple Pencil stylus; and the official release of iOS 9.3, with a slew of new features.
Of course, tucked away in the middle of all that were a few announcements about the Apple Watch, too. For starters, the starting price of the Apple Watch Sport was lowered to just $299, making the smartwatch even more accessible. This lower price should entice a number of people who were on the fence about picking one up to finally take the plunge. In addition to the price drop, Apple unveiled a ton of new bands. We get new colors for nearly all of the existing lines, as well as an all-new Woven Nylon band. Let’s take a look!
First, the Sport line is picking up quite a few new colors. We have Yellow, Apricot, Royal Blue, Light Pink, Lilac, and Mint. The Yellow is a pretty bright hue. Light Pink is, well, light pink. Lilac is a sort of blueish-purple; a bit more blue than the Lavender, for example. Mint is a pale green, and is a particularly nice color. Royal Blue is darker than the regular Blue band, but not nearly as dark as Midnight Blue. Apricot is a sort of orange-pink that is bright, bold, and really pops. These join the existing Sport bands to give buyers a choice of 22 different colors, each available for 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches. Sport Bands are available for just $49.
The Classic Buckle, previously only available in Black and Brown, has gotten a whopping seven new colors: Marigold, Blue Jay, Marine Blue, Midnight Blue, Storm Gray, Red, and White. Marigold is a nice golden yellow. Of the three shades of blue, Blue Jay is the lightest, while Marine Blue is a bit darker and brings to mind the ocean. Midnight Blue is the darkest shade; it’s the same color that you see in other Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. Storm Gray is a fairly dark gray and looks really sharp. The Red is a nice shade, not too bright, and provides a nice pop of color. These new colors should let anyone who likes the Classic Buckle style find a band to suit them. The other leather bands also get new colors: the Modern Buckle adds Marigold, Blue Jay, and Red options, while the Leather Loop gets Storm Gray and White. These new choices add some much needed color to these collections. The Classic Buckle and Leather Loop sell for $149, while the Modern Buckle retails at $249.
Moving to the metal bands, the Milanese Loop is now available in Space Black. Rumors about this band began earlier this year when it appeared briefly on the Czech Apple Store website; it is significant because the only metal option that really matched the Space Black watch case was the Link Bracelet, which is considerably more expensive. Like that Link Bracelet, though, the Space Black Milanese Loop comes with a price hike from the “regular” Silver version; in this case, it’s $199 for the Space Black Milanese Loop and just $149 for the Silver. As for the Link Bracelet, no new colors were announced; it is still available only in Silver and Space Black, for $449 and $549, respectively.
Lastly, we have the new Woven Nylon collection. Like the NATO straps covered in a previous article, these are designed to be affordable, durable, and comfortable. These straps are available in seven colors: Gold/Red, Gold/Royal Blue, Royal Blue, Pink, Pearl, Scuba Blue, and Black. The bands feature the primary color and an accent color in a nice, subtle pattern, with adapters matching the primary color. The exception is the Gold/Red and Gold/Royal Blue, which have Gold adapters. Pearl is a sort of shimmery white color, while Scuba Blue leans more toward the turquoise side. The rest are pretty self-explanatory. These bands are available for both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches and cost $49.
But wait; there’s more! In addition to all these new bands, there have also been some changes to which bands come bundled when you first purchase your Apple Watch. Several old combinations have been phased out to make room for the new options; old bands that are now only available as separate purchases include the White and (PRODUCT)RED Sport Bands, the Black Classic Buckle, Midnight Blue and Soft Pink Modern Buckles, and Midnight Blue and Stone Leather Loops.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to Apple’s online store and check out the new bands; alternatively, if you haven’t yet bought your watch, follow this link and see if any of the new bundles appeal to you. As always, happy shopping!