Cheap Apple Watch Bands are already available for purchase on Amazon and eBay. I knew it would happen fast but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast.
What you’ll learn in the article:
- What is out there for cheap bands
- Why you should avoid them for now
- Limitations of these bands
- Why they might be worth purchasing
Let’s take a look at these bands and what they are promising.
The ULAK Apple Watch Band
The ULAK band actually looks pretty nice in the product images but it all but ends there. The images show what appears to be a weaved material but the product description says it’s a mixture of canvas and leather. If you zoom in carefully you’ll see that the image looks photoshopped which makes me doubt that they have manufactured or prototyped anything as of yet.
There are many other red flags with this product listing:
- It states the band is only compatible with the Edition version of the Apple watch. We already know that the clasp system for all watches is the same so this band would fit all Apple Watch varieties if it fits the Edition series. The manufacturer should know this.
- It’s extremely clear that the retailer took an iPhone case Amazon listing and changed the image and title to manipulate would be shoppers. Even the secondary images are of iPhones. The listing has 115 reviews but they are all old reviews about an iPhone case. I am surprised Amazon has not taken this listing down for this reason.
- It states the band will be in-stock on April 15th, 2015. This Apple Watch will be available for “viewing” in stores on the 10th but will not be available for purchase until the 24th. Most third-party strap producers are promising shipping times after the 24th.
- There is still some concern about Apple allowing third party watch bands so I would be hesitant to purchase a band from a retailer who does not address a refund policy due to these unknowns.
In fairness to ULAK, their phone cases do get good reviews. It is entirely possible that they will manufacturer and deliver a great watch band but my recommendation remains to wait until the Apple Watch launches and you are sure that these straps will in fact be compatible. It’s probably a good idea to wait for the reviews from other customers before ordering.
The Baseus AERB Watch Band
BASEUS is offering a basic leather replacement band for $19.99. It’s important that we note that this band is advertised as compatible with the classic buckle and modern buckle only.
Their plan is to provide a screw driver that will allow you to remove Apple’s Classic and Modern bands from the clasp and replace with the AERB edition strap. This is actually a pretty sound idea but I am suspicious. I haven’t seen an image or read anything that indicates the clasp on the apple bands will be removable. On one hand I expect Apple to make the band one piece with no way to remove the clasp but on the other I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the bands are removable from the clasp using a special screw driver, especially since apple has outsourced the leather work to experts.
Baseus is already shipping these bands. Again I would wait until the Apple Watch can be viewed in stores to see if there are even screws on the clasps.
Lots of Bands Coming Soon
It’s become extremely obvious that there will be fierce competition in the third-party band market. Unless Apple chooses, and has figured out how, to stop third-party manufactures you will have access to lots of affordable options.
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