Apple is smart. By pitching the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory as much as (or possibly more) than an extension of personal technology, the company has put itself in a position to market and sell various (overpriced) accessory/replacement bands.
Everyone was prepared for the Apple Watch Edition to be priced sky-high, but I think everyone had some level of sticker shock when it was revealed that bands would be going for upwards of $450. This pricing scheme has left the door wide-open for third party accessory makers to cash in on the Apple Watch… iPhone is Apple’s biggest product and as result has a gigantic third party accessory market, but Apple branded cases, which are often hailed for having perfect fit n’ finish, aren’t astronomically priced so many consumers pay up for one. On the other hand (no pun intended), first party Apple Watch band replacements may not even be considered by most consumers because many of the prices aren’t even close to reasonable. Even the rubber Sport Watch band at $49 is going to be tough for many to swallow. We’ve already tracked some sub $100 stainless steel bands, but it looks like the Apple Watch accessory scene is now really heating up.
Our latest glimpse into this world comes the way of ULAK-Cases. The company has listed genuine leather Apple Watch bands with chrome buckle clips on Amazon for $9.99 with free shipping. According to product descriptions, the bands will fit 38mm and 42mm Edition Apple Watches.
Outside of cheaper options, I think we’ll see other companies put out moderately priced replacement bands made of quality materials in fresh styles. Apple has left a huge opportunity for not only traditional gadget accessory makers, but everyday fashion brands. Hopefully these companies take advantage of the opportunity — I’d be thrilled if I could strap a J. Crew or Vineyard Vines replacement band on my (future) Apple Watch.