Will Aftermarket Bands Work with the Apple Watch


Sure, there a few companies selling third party Apple Watch Bands, Straps, and Adaptors already and there are fully funded Kickstarter campaigns that have thousands of soon-to-be Apple Watch owners quite excited but we still don’t know that these aftermarket accessories will work!

On the surface it would seem like it’s a simple as someone manufacturing a band that will “fit” or “slide-in” to the Apple Watch. The thing is, it might not be that simple.

Despite being unseen thus far -it’s known that there is a “secret” port on the bezel of the Apple Watch that is concealed by the bottom band.  There is a lot of speculation surrounding this port, here are some of the theories and out thoughts on them.

Apple Watch Band Removal

Apple Watch Band Removal


The port is used for diagnostics and will not be present on the final Apple Watch when it’s available for consumers.

We agree this is entirely possible but we are not sure we buy it (mainly because we believe the port will be need for connectivity).


It provides connectivity for trouble shooting/updating the Watch should there be software issues.

This makes sense to us.  What if an update fails and the watch is can’t “boot”? How would you restore it?  It’s possible that a port has been built for connectivity to iTunes.  Something similar exists on the Apple TVs.

Digital Smart Bands and Other Unique Accessories

Maybe apple has plans to add sensors or other electronics to bands? Something similar to the smart strap unveiled by pebble? This connector would allow bands to share data with the watch.

Makes sense as possibility but we don’t believe this is the ports main purpose.  We have battery life to worry about before start wearing bands that suck the battery further.

Band and Accessory Validation

It is possible that bands will connect into this port and that the watch will validate the strap to ensure it’s an authentic Apple band or valid licensed product.

Think about how hard it was to find an aftermarket iPhone5/6 charger that actually worked until recently.  The chargers actually have an authentication chip in them.  Apple might be doing something similar with their watches.  On one hand I think that is nuts and I’d be really annoyed – on the other hand I would understand if Apple doesn’t want people using poorly made $5.00 watch bands that cause damage or an unsatisfactory customer experience.

What do you think?  Is it possible that Apple will validate straps and all these startups that have spend a lot of money prototyping will be in big trouble?

We will know more soon!

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